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Encore Seasons is a poetic exploration of nature’s diverse moods and the web of life. The collection began when the author and his wife moved from their long-time home on Florida’s Braden River to an apartment in a large college campus–like retirement community in Maryland. There, Bennett experienced a new array of enchanting seasonal ecosystems and observed–while overlooking a forested courtyard and exploring nearby trails–the natural landscape as it evolved through the changing seasons. Concise and lyrical poems emerged from his observations, study, and meditation, with his poetic imagery becoming focused through the lens of a biologist. The subjects are nature, its plants, and its animals, from those on an apartment balcony to those in the woods and around campus as the seasons changed. Many poems morphed into metaphors inspired by the biblical admonitions "to bloom where you are planted" and that "to everything there is a season." The poems are collected in chronological sections: "Prelude," "Autumn," "Winter," "Spring," and "Summer." "Mockingbird Interlude" is a longer poem narrating the natural history of a mockingbird throughout the four seasons. Encore Seasons blends science, poetry and evocative musings about nature and encore retirement. The poems in the collection reflect Bennett’s belief that both the arts and the sciences inform our experiences and our appreciation in our unending exploration of nature and our own lives.
Author_Bio: Thomas Peter Bennett is Florida born. He graduated from Florida State University, earned his doctorate in biochemistry from Rockefeller University, and became an assistant professor at Harvard. After a brief tenure as a professor at the University of Kentucky, he returned to Florida State University as professor and chair of biological sciences and later served as special assistant to the president and acting executive vice president of the university. He began museum work in 1976 as the president of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and, after a decade, returned to Florida. At the University of Florida, he was professor and director of the Florida Museum of Natural History for another decade. Continuing as a courtesy professor at the university, Bennett became the president of Science Service and the publisher of Science News in Washington, DC. He became executive director of the South Florida Museum in 1998 and emeritus director in 2006. He is the author of many scientific and educational articles and books, most recently The Legacy: South Florida Museum, as well as poems and poetry collections.
His poems have been published in Poet Talk, Poet, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Goose River Anthology, Café Review, and Puckerbrush, among others. His collections include A Celebration of John and William Bartram, Nature as One Sees It, The River Widens, Hike On, and others.
Bennett resides with his wife, Gudrun Dorothea, in Maryland, where he writes and pursues nature and museum interests, often returning to Florida in the winter.
Keywords: Seasons, nature, poetry, plants, animals, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer, mockingbird, retirement