Winner of the inaugural Interim 2018 Test Site Poetry Series Prize, Refugia is a bright and hopeful voice in the current conversation about climate change. Kyce Bello's stunning debut ponders what it means to inhabit a particular place at a time of enormous disruption, witnessing a beloved landscape as it gives way to, as Bello writes, "something other and unknown, growing beyond us." Ultimately an exploration of resilience, Refugia brings to life the author's home ground in Northern New Mexico and carefully observes the seasons in parallel with personal cycles of renewal and loss. These vivid poems touch upon history, inheritance, drought, and most of all, trees--be they Western conifers succumbing to warming temperatures, ramshackle orchards along the Rio Grande, or family trees reaching simultaneously into the past and future.
Like any wilderness, Refugia creates a terrain that is grounded in image and yet many-layered and complex. These poems write us back into an ecological language of place crucial to our survival in this time of environmental crisis.
Kyce Bello's poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, About Place Journal, Anomaly Literary Journal, The Raven Chronicles, Taos Journal of Poetry, and Sonora Review. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.