Poetry or potsherds? That’s the surprising dilemma one of Canada’s well-known nature writers confronts in The Site: A Personal Odyssey, a highly personalized account of a lifetime’s involvement as an avocational archaeologist. With deft descriptive powers, Robert Nero leads us gently into this new facet of his amazing spectrum of interests. Not unexpectedly, there even is poetry in his approach to studying prehistoric remains!
From childhood through adolescence, to wartime service with the U.S. Army in the Southwest Pacific, from exploring the vast sand dunes of Lake Athabasca to excavating a 3,000-year-old site he discovered west of Winnipeg, Nero allows us to share his enthusiasm and excitement in outdoor adventures. There is always a wonderful immediacy in his narrative, the mark of a gifted writer, whether expressed in prose or poetry.
A well-known scientist and educator with numerous natural history publications to his credit, Robert W. Nero has attracted attention in recent years through published collections of his poetry. Woman By the Shore (1990), The Mulch Pile (1993) and Spring Again (1997) firmly established Bob Nero's standing in the field of poetry. Several creditable poems also appeared in a well-received book about his travels with a tame Great Gray Owl: Lady Grayl: Owl With a Mission (1994). Even a recent account of his archaeological exploits, The Site: A Personal Odyssey (2001), contains some appropriate poetry. His most recent poetry collection is Growing Old Together (2005); as with all of the aforementioned books, it was published by Natural Heritage Books.
Robert Nero and his wife, Ruth, live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.