2011, 96 pages
Peril as Architectural Enrichment by Hazel White tests landscape as the subject of experience. Propelling awareness vertically and horizontally, it questions how limbs want to move in space, when convivial with landforms, treetops, views, and pollen. The poems greet danger—chopped narratives, lost crops, a fall, inundation—and the refuge of a familiar curvature: the turning of long lines becoming the same as building shelter in the wild where a peril can be seen and felt, and to write is to know what's near. Like a designed landscape, White's poetry delivers a new sense of orientation/a long-sought spatial fluency: "I want to ride in the fur of animals."
Hazel White grew up on farms in the southwest of England. After finishing undergraduate degrees in philosophy and literature at Warwick University, she studied crop agriculture at Bridgwater College Center for Land Based Studies, and then, through University of California, Berkeley, Extension, landscape architecture. She's the author of eleven gardening books, published by Sunset Books and Chronicle Books, and for several years wrote a monthly column, "Living in the Landscape," published by the San Francisco Chronicle. White graduated from the MFA Writing program at California College of the Arts in 2005. Her first book, Peril as Architectural Enrichment, was published by Kelsey Street Press in 2011 and was a finalist in the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Best Book of the Year Award. Her second book, Vigilance Is No Orchard, was published in 2018 by Nightboat Books. A chapbook, Richter 14, was published in 2010 by Deconstructed Artichoke Press. She lives in San Francisco.