Patrick Horner
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A debut poetry novel by Canadian writer, Patrick Horner, Refugia is a story of discovery and transformation that shows the hubris inherent in the idea that humans live both outside, and at the center of, the natural world. Told through field notes, letters, and scientific data, this book reveals science in all its imperfect beauty, crossing the line between observer and observed, scientist and subject, between what is known and what is unknowable.

Relic species extinct everywhere else on the planet thrive on a remote archipelago. Evolution requires isolation, and these islands offer the perfect environment for genetic variation to take place, fostering new and unique forms of flora and fauna. Evolutionary biologists Emily and Roland have come on an extended field expedition to this secluded world, eager to expose its unique biosphere.

As they work to gather a large dataset of dead specimens for study and description, Emily and Roland experience growing shifts in their perception, in their bodies, and even in the flow of linear time. The environment they have come to quantify acts upon them, the species they collect observe and comment upon them, and the controlled lens of science cannot save them. Succumbing to the dynamic power of isolation, they find themselves irrevocably changed.

Why we chose it

What voices exist amongst this nature and what lies undiscovered in the over 200 islands that make up the Broughton Archipelago. This poetic novel evokes reflection on the isolated location that we find ourselves in at Nimmo Bay.

Product details: 136 pages, 6 x 9 inches

About Patrick Horner

Patrick Horner is a Canadian poet and engineer living in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he works to develop new water treatment technology. He co-wrote and co-produced Waste Dump, a serial radio play, and his poetry and fiction have been published in Wax, Dandelion, Broken Pencil, and more. Refugia is his first book of poetry.

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