Separation Point by Jason Russell Poole
Separation Point began as a Grand Canyon river trip involving two friends—one a Northwestern poet, musician, and river guide, the other a British photographer. It became, over the course of a decade, a book of poetry and photography that portrait human and environmental struggle, resilience, and hope in the American Southwest. Jason Russell Poole’s photographs explore a metaphysical landscape. There is stillness in a river’s rapid; rocks become abstractions and clouds take on forms like architecture. The harsh visage of a policeman and dark plumes from a power plant give way to a Native American powwow. Poole examines the precarious condition of America, hoping to reexamine our relationship with nature. He seeks “to allow a wildness within to expand” through imagery of the American West. Benjie Howard’s poems, born from his time as a guide on the Colorado River, shape this collection. They yearn to close a divide, to see past the points of separation within and between us and allow for a meditation on the interplay of person and place. Separation Point is a testament not only to the land’s beauty but to what we have done to it. More than that, though, it is a cry for redemption—a chance to reconnect and renew.