After Jim Harrison


On this excursion my hands were folded,

I tried not to see anything, didn’t pick up the pole,

let him do all the work, he took every turn

for the both of us—promising I would be amazed

at any moment, soon enough, and I fucking doubt it

I replied, wanting something more from my time,

as though each of my moments were precious

and meant to be filled with golden sap, we,

through mangrove canals where pregnant

wolf spiders ran their fingers through my hair,

and blackened crabs climbed from root to root,

the water moved past our boat like soft hands

swimming in still water, paddled toward the sunset

when two boar, nose-to-tail, took to the water to cross

from shore to shore oblivious of us one way or another

and now is a good time to define what our time is worth.



This poem originally appeared in our 46.2 issue, and was a runner-up for The Florida Review‘s 2022 Humboldt Poetry Prize.

Prize judge David Keplinger’s citation: “On a miserable excursion through mangrove canals, rife with crabs and spiders, what seems a resistant young person sits with hands folded as an older figure tries to amaze and awaken them; and they do; they do awaken to the worth of this moment with its boars crossing the shore “oblivious of us” in that instant of marvelous connection with the natural world.”


Announcing the 2022 Humboldt Prize Winner & Runners-Up

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner and runners-up for the third annual Humboldt Poetry Prize. The Prize, which is funded by an anonymous donor in honor of Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), recognizes the best poems with an environmental focus published in the previous year in The Florida Review and on Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. The winner receives an award of $500, and each runner-up $250.

Alexander von Humboldt as painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, c. 1860.

This year’s winner and runners-up are:

  • Winner: Zoë Fay-Stindt for “Fall in Languedoc” (Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, March 2022)
  • Runner-Up: Madelyn Garner for “Call and Response” (TFR 46.2, Fall 2022)
  • Runner-Up: Cole W. Williams for “Sunset” (TFR 46.2, Fall 2022)
  • Honorable Mention: Zoë Fay-Stindt for “A Robin at the Bus Station” (Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, March 2022)

The winner and honorable mention will be reprinted in The Florida Review 47.1, Spring/Summer 2023; both runners-up will be republished on Aquifer: The Florida Review online this spring. David Keplinger served as the final judge for this year’s Prize. Continue reading “Announcing the 2022 Humboldt Prize Winner & Runners-Up”