Recorded November 16, 2022
The Wilder Heart of Florida: More Writers Inspired by Florida’s Nature is a compilation of essays and poetry about the state. Authors from across the state wrote about their personal connections with nature—a message aimed at inspiring love of the state’s natural beauty, and, hopefully, activism to save it. The writings cover topics from seashells to bird watching to hikes in Florida’s scrublands. All proceeds from book sales benefit The Nature Conservancy’s Florida office, which works to buy and protect fragile lands and ecosystems.
Biography: Leslie Kemp Poole is an award-winning writer and historian. A fourth-generation Floridian, Poole has long been interested in the role of women in the state’s environmental movement and how they were saving the state’s important natural resources even before they were able to vote.
Poole is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She received her PhD in History from the University of Florida in 2012. Her articles have been published in a number of academic journals and she regularly presents papers about her research at history conferences. In 2008 she appeared in the PBS documentary In Marjorie’s Wake which retraced a 1933 trip on the St. Johns River taken by noted author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. In January 2019 she appeared in the PBS Documentary The Swamp, part of the American Experience series, talking about the history of Florida’s Everglades. Poole also has worked as a freelance author for a number of magazines and publications. Prior to working in academia, Poole was a reporter for several newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel, where she helped pen a series of articles about Florida’s lack of growth management that won a national award.
She lives in Winter Park, Florida, where she and her husband raised two sons.
Florida Voices is generously supported by the Fred J. Brotherton Endowment for Literature, established at The Four Arts by the Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation. Fred Brotherton, who died in 2003, was for many years a Benefactor of The Four Arts and a strong supporter of its programs. Florida Voices, featuring the state that was Mr. Brotherton’s winter home, serves as a continuing memorial to this much-respected member of The Four Arts.