Eric Magrane is a geographer and poet. He is the coeditor of The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press), a 2016 Southwest Book of the Year. Other academic and creative works have recently appeared in GeoHumanities, Ecotone, ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, Cultural Geographies, Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments, AAG Review of Books, and elsewhere.
Magrane earned his PhD from the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona in May 2017. He also holds an MFA in creative writing. He researches the geographies of art-science and art-environment, and the role that environmental narratives play in shaping how environmental issues are understood and approached. His research takes multiple forms, from scholarly to literary to artistic.
Magrane is particularly interested in arts and humanities approaches to climate change. In the fall of 2015, he designed and taught a community course on Climate Change & Poetry—among the first of its kind anywhere—for the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
Magrane is the poet in residence at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and is the founding editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics. He has been an artist in residence in three U.S. national parks. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Tucson Pima Arts Council, among others.
His creative collaborations include work in several genres, such as Borderlands Theater’s Tucson Pastorela (2010-2012), and the borderlands song cycle (F)light, which Women in Harmony, a 60-member women’s chorus, premiered in Portland, Maine in 2011. A current art-science collaboration, Bycatch, brings together poetics, visual art, political ecology, and marine ecology to address the (un)sustainability of Gulf of California fisheries, and is featured in an exhibit at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Spring 2017.
Magrane is the creator and curator of A Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park, which gathered eighty poets and writers to write pieces based on species in the park for the 2011 National Park Service and National Geographic Society BioBlitz. The project was replicated at Rocky Mountain National Park the following year, and also inspired the Campus Creature Census at Oregon State University.
Magrane has taught environmental education in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and worked as a hiking guide and naturalist in the Sonoran Desert. He earned his BA from Goddard College in 1998 and his MFA from the University of Arizona in 2001. After a decade of working as a hiking guide, he returned to the University of Arizona in 2012 to pursue a PhD in the School of Geography and Development. As a PhD student, he was a Carson Scholar, a Climate & Society Fellow with Climate Assessment for the Southwest, and a Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry fellow.