Diana Kanoy has woven together a fascinating array of intrigue, wild adventure, and creative inspiration about alligators. Most riveting, she offers a breathtaking inside glimpse of her own encounters with these fearsome predators, first as a champion water skier, then as a lakeside dweller, over many decades in the charm of rural Florida. Her poetry transcends ordinary genres with results that range from tantalizing to terrifying, whimsical to cautionary, exhilarating to existential. “Quality” describes the compelling elements of this captivating collection. Treat yourself to an experience of unforeseen wonder and dazzling detail. Whether you return to dip your toe again and again or take the in-depth plunge, your coffee table will be blessed by the presence of this beautiful book.
Read her full book review here.
Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute and author of Silenced Springs – Moving From Tragedy To Hope, Death By A Thousand Cuts – An Anthology Of Springs Opinions and Saving Florida’s Springs
“Diana Kanoy has created a feast for the eyes and mind based on Florida’s most successful human natural predator – the no-longer endangered American Alligator. Numbering more than one million alligators in the “wild,” Florida natives do not show much excitement when a tourist says “Oh there’s an alligator!” But few of us have stared into the eyes or mouth of one of these “dinosaur lizards” from the ancient past. During the past 20 years, more than 20 people in Florida have seen those eyes in their last few minutes of life. This book provides a more pleasant appreciation and admiration of these highly adapted and important natural predators.”
Wildlife Photographer and owner of Nokomis Wildlife Images
“The author’s lifetime in a refreshingly rural lifestyle, complete with all of its hazards, combined with a spiritual connection to nature, resulted in the creation of something curiously unique. It takes someone creative enough to do competitive water skiing and dancing to be willing to put together stories and poems that cause the reader to ponder its unusual presentation. Combining that creativity with the author’s strong academic background results in something that both inspires and informs with a willingness to risk explicit content. The amazing collection of photos adds striking illustrative force to all of that intrigue. The alligator is seen in an ultimate love-hate relationship, with the author wanting nothing else but for this dangerous, threatening beast to be forever preserved for all to perhaps fear, but always enjoy.”
Captain/Owner North Star Charters, Audubon Conservationist of the Year Award, Putnam County Environmental Council Vice President
“With this book, Diana Kanoy defines the emotional slurry of such fascination and fear to a level previously unattained. The photos put us closer than we dare go. The poetry tickles the imagination and intellect, and reveals gruesome truths. She Swims with Alligators stirs the primal respect I have always held for this apex predator. Here you can feel the adrenaline without the danger. There’s nothing like it.”
Naturalist and Kayaking Guide, Author of Paynes Prairie: The Great Savanna: A History and Guide www.AdventureOutpost.net
“There are no casual relationships between humans and alligators. We love them or we hate them; are horrified or intrigued. In “She Swims With Alligators,” Diana Kanoy has curated a collection of poetry, prose and first-hand accounts that speak to the complexity of that relationship, all of it nested among some of the most stunning photographs of alligators ever compiled under one cover.”
Teacher, Curriculum Designer, Dances of Universal Peace Leader and Musician, Composer
My nine-year old daughter enjoyed leafing through the whole book this morning. A few poems read (and every picture taken in); I look forward to going at an adult pace. So much joy and admiration arising for this great offering to the world from your heart and your humor-filled wit.
P.S. while kayaking a month ago, I startled an alligator and it jumped into the river 6 feet from my boat. I was baptized with alligator splash on my face. I feel like I’ve arrived fully in Florida.
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Being from NY, when I first moved to Florida, I couldn’t even imagine that there were actually real alligators here walking around until I encountered one in a park. Holy crap! They are real. So that’s why everywhere you look there is gator this, gator that and the UF sport teams are called the Gators! After 20+ years living here, I’m still not sure about going in any water that is not a bathtub or swimming pool (that is after you check for gators) or the ocean. I recently met with Diana and she shared some of her fascinating intimate experiences with these awesome scary, prehistoric creatures. I know Diana as a wonderful leader of Dances of Universal Peace. She radiates the essence of pure inner peace from her heart. Maybe that’s her secret to communing with the gators! Shenna Benarte
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As a Northerner, I felt as if I were in Florida while enjoying the book. Lavish pictures interspersed with facts and poetry. Bought one as a gift for my sister as well as one for me. She loved it too.
As someone who has spent thousands of hours in the company of alligators I can attest to the authenticity of this book. For me, being in presence of these prehistoric cold-blooded creatures is a kind of memento mori that gives life more depth and meaning. This book is excellent in every way. I am sure the photo collection in this book is beyond compare. It is awesome and artistic. It will be a permanent feature on my coffee table.
The author’s words are direct, sensitive, intelligent, and thoughtful toward potential readers (and non-readers, with the warning RE the adult audience.) Clearly, this oeuvre is a labor of love - heart/mind/soul wrapped up in a coffee table book that many will enjoy for years to come.
Great book! Got a lot of smiles and laughs from it. Really need those.
I highly recommend Diana’s book, it is awesome! I love my copy!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book - absolutely amazing!. I love She Swims with Crocodiles!
Must say, it's not everyone's cup of tea for a hobby though! Makes the book all the more valuable.
When I moved from Arkansas to Florida a couple of years ago, I knew very little about alligators. After reading this book however, I learned much more. I was captivated by this book. Not only because I learned a great deal, but because of the way the author presented it. I am college educated, but I never really studied poetry. The poetry in this book is easily understood and informative. The format the author presents her information makes for a fun and interesting read. The photographs throughout are stunning. If you have any interest in alligators, you will enjoy this book. And it would make a wonderful addition to your coffee table collection.
I just love this book. Captivating stories and great photos by local Floridian photographers. With such a controversial title! I found this book very entertaining. Although you would never catch me swimming with gators.
Florida Tourism in recent years has switched to the theme, "See the Real Florida", and Diana Kanoy's book She Swims with Alligators is certainly real! For those of us who are born Floridians, who remember being fearless children in Florida lakes, the wonderful writing and pictures bring us back to a more idyllic time. For those who have never been to Florida, who perhaps believe it is all condominiums and attractions surrounded by crowded beaches...it will be an awakening. A wonderful book you can return to again and again.
This wonderful collection of stories, poems and pictures is as unique as the subject. These amazing creatures have been vilified and feared when all they want to do is eat when they’re hungry, bathe in the sun, and live to see another day! Although some of the stories are sad, overall the success of the survival of the “swamp dragon” shines through! Swim on Dr. Kanoy!