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.
With work by Daniel Biegelson, Rosemarie Dombrowski, Gabrielle Grace Hogan, Rose Knapp, W.J. Lofton, John Martin, Michael J. Pagán, Stephen Siperstein, Jonathan Skinner, Julia Wieting, Tyrone Williams, Gavin Yates + an entry poem composted from fragments of each of the pieces in the issue, Spiral Orb Fourteen is here.
Early poems and drawings from Bycatch appear in April’s Zócalo and at the new online Coordinates Society Magazine.
Bycatch is a co-produced art-science project that combines geohumanities, political ecology, poetics, art, and marine ecology to creatively respond to the shrimp trawling industry in the Gulf of California. “Bycatch” refers to everything captured that is not the target species, so in this case, everything that is not shrimp. Approximately 87% of the weight of catch by shrimp trawlers is made up of 225+ species of bycatch fish, invertebrates, and turtles. The majority of shrimp caught in the industry is sold in the U.S.
I am collaborating with marine biologist and illustrator Maria Johnson on this project as part of the Next-Gen 6&6 Art + Science initiative. The field work for this collaboration has included overnight trips aboard shrimp trawlers off of Bahía de Kino, Sonora.
A few of my poems (“the sky: to a bird” and “the sky: frames”) are published along a trail at Baxter Conservation Area in Ontario, Canada, thanks to Chris Turnbull and her footpress. Thrilled to be included in this cool project. It looks like one of them is inside a tree.
With work by Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Alyse Bensel, Melissa Buckheit, Jefferson Carter, Matthew Cooperman, Patrick Jones, Jeffrey Jullich, Stacy Kidd, Rico Moore, Ellen Noonan, Dan Raphael, Jessica Reed, Chris Turnbull, and an entry poem composted from fragments of each of the pieces in the issue, Spiral Orb Eleven is here.
The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide is now available for pre-order here.
“It’s a book to walk with, a book to scribble in, and even a book to use as a cushion if the desert rock you tried to sit on was too sharp. It’s also a book to get away with. Let the rest of the country rant and rave and post and tweet and babble. The writers inside these pages aren’t listening. They are too busy getting out there and getting lost, naming plants and animals, teaching and learning, and doing the vital work of mapping their place.” —David Gessner, author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West
“A book of delights for the mind and spirit, this is what a field guide ought to be. What better way to truly see a place than through the unblinking eyes of literature? What better way to truly love a place than through the embrace of ecology? Put them together, as Magrane and Cokinos have brilliantly done, and here is their irresistible invitation to the spectacular desert.” —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature
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.
My article “Situating Geopoetics” is in the Association of American Geographers’ new journal GeoHumanities. Download the pdf here.
Here’s the abstract:
The form of the ars poetica is one in which the poet makes a statement on the art of poetry. Consider this a kind of ars-geo-poetica, a groundsetting for and statement on geopoetics that intends to both situate and to break open the field. This is an invitation for geopoetic texts and practices that draw on the work of poets as well as geographers, for an enchanted, earthy, and transaesthetic approach that moves to juxtapose contemporary poetics, particularly in the realm of ecopoetics, with critical human geography. Looking to geographers, poets, literary scholars, and poems themselves, this article aims to help situate and historicize geopoetics, provide a brief inventory of the current field, and carve out sites for future work.
Key Words: creative geographies, ecopoetics, geohumanities, geopoetics, site-based poetics.
Over at Jacket 2, Linda Russo has compiled a collective glossary of place-relation ecopoetics. Linda lives in western Washington, and in the context of the ongoing Washington wildfires, where the Okanogan complex is the largest in state history, she writes: “Some fear the fires will continue to burn until it snows; some fear we can expect little in the way of precipitation again this year. The uncertainty is disconcerting, to say the least. I don’t know how to segue into the introduction I wrote for this glossary less than a week ago. I do know that what the terms gathered below represent – attunement to unfolding earth-realities and reverence for the many living things caught up in them – help me navigate that uncertainty.”
The collective glossary includes terms like Biotariat, B-RAD: Bio-Regional Attachment Disorder, Indigenous ecopoetics, Phylogeny, Relaxation time, and Walking. My contribution to the glossary is geopoetics.