Eric Magrane is a geographer and a poet. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at New Mexico State University, where he teaches human and cultural geography.
Magrane is the editor, with Christopher Cokinos, of The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press), a 2016 Southwest Book of the Year, and with Linda Russo, Sarah de Leeuw, and Craig Santos Perez, of Geopoetics in Practice (Routledge, 2020). Other scholarly and creative works have recently appeared in Bioscience, Dialogues in Human Geography, Ecotone, Literary Geographies, Cultural Geographies, GeoHumanities, Antipode, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography and in the books Counter-desecration: A glossary for writing within the Anthropocene (Wesleyan), Big energy poets: When ecopoets think climate change (BlazeVOX), 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. He 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 founding editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics. He has been poet in residence at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and 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 recent art-science collaboration, Bycatch, brought together poetics, visual art, political ecology, and marine ecology to address the (un)sustainability of Gulf of California fisheries, and was featured in the 6&6 art-science exhibit at the University of Arizona Museum of Art from December 2018 through March 2019.
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 has also inspired a growing number of poetic and literary inventories, including the Literary Inventory of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
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.