My article ‘Healing, Belonging, Resistance, and Mutual Care’: Reading Indigenous Ecopoetics and Climate Narratives has been published in the new issue of the online open-access journal Literary Geographies. View the pdf here.
Here is the article’s abstract:
Narratives of climate change place it alternately as an environmental justice issue, a national and global security issue, an apocalyptic threat to life on earth, an opportunity for social change, and more. In this article, I aim to bring critical geographic work on climate narratives into conversation with contemporary poetry, through close readings of specific poems. I argue that the work of contemporary poets, and in particular the work of Indigenous ecopoetics, is rich in poetic texts that offer imaginative practices for recalibrating climate change narratives. I look particularly to works by Craig Santos Perez, Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Joy Harjo, and Linda Hogan. I approach the poems as both a critical geographer and as a poet, thinking through and with their form and content in relation to climate narratives, and in relation to a description of Indigenous ecopoetics by Perez. I meet these poems as stored energy, as actors themselves in a human and more-than-human collective. A close reading of the craft of creative texts—particularly to the level of the line in poetry—highlights the inextricable connection between form and content in how a poem acts and means in the world. As a non-Indigenous reader of texts by Indigenous poets, my goal is not to perform a ‘master’ reading or analysis of these texts, but rather to learn from the poems and in doing so attempt to decolonize my own thought, a process that is a constant practice.
I’m thrilled to be at a residency at Playa in Oregon’s “outback” this early July, taking part in a themed art-sci climate residency on the edge of Summer Lake and the Great Basin. This is an amazing place to unplug, get some writing done, and connect with other artists and scientists. While here, I’m working on a new series of climate poems. Stay tuned.
from the post:
There is not one climate change; rather, there are many climate changes. This refers to both the physical science—the awareness that different regions will see different effects—as well as to the social perception of climate change. Alternate frames place it, for example, as an environmental justice issue, a national and global security issue, or an opportunity for social change. As recent provocative books and no less than the Pope have pointed out, climate change calls capitalism itself into question.