Launch Event: March 2, 6:30 p.m. Join Jack E. Davis and Leslie K. Poole, editors of The Wilder Heart of Florida, along with contributing writers Gianna Russo and Mark Walters, for a virtual launch event hosted by Tombolo Books. To register, click here.

The Wilder Heart of Florida

Fall under the spell of Florida’s natural environment
“The essays and poetry in The Wilder Heart of Florida offer sparkling writing and penetrating insights into what makes Florida such a special place. An essential read for anyone who cares about the state’s springs and scrub and other special places that are worth preserving.”—Craig Pittman, author of Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther  

“This collection of essays by many of Florida’s best writers, compiled expertly by Jack Davis and Leslie Poole, takes a place of honor on my bookshelf. You can read it all in one sitting, if you like, but my advice is to read it a little at a time to make it last, like a jar of tupelo honey from North Florida.”—Jeff Klinkenberg, author of Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life  

“If you haven’t fallen madly in love with the wild heart of Florida by the end of this book, check your pulse.”—Janine Farver, former executive director, Florida Humanities Council

In this captivating collection, Florida’s most notable authors, poets, and environmentalists take readers on a journey through the natural wonders of the state. Continuing in the legacy of the beloved classic The Wild Heart of Florida, this book features thirty-four pieces by a new slate of well-known and emerging writers.

In these pages, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff describes the beauty of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Environmental writer Cynthia Barnett listens to seashells on Sanibel Island. Legendary journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas records the sights and sounds of the Everglades in the 1920s. Miccosukee elder Buffalo Tiger relates traditional stories of his community’s deep relationship with the land. Presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco muses on the shifting vista of the ocean in “Some Days the Sea.”

These writers and many others recount memories of how their lives have been enriched by the state’s varied and brilliant landscapes. Some tell of encounters with alligators, pythons, manatees, turtles, and otters, while others marvel at the unique character of flowing springs and piney scrub. Together, they highlight the need to protect pristine ecosystems and restore ones that have been damaged due to development. The Wilder Heart of Florida: More Writers Inspired by Florida Nature will inspire readers to explore and celebrate the Florida wilderness.

Jack E. Davis is professor of history and the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities at the University of Florida. He is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea and coeditor of Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida

Leslie K. Poole is assistant professor of environmental studies at Rollins College. She is the author of Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century. 

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