Thanks to Anna Lena Phillips Bell, editor of Ecotone, for reprinting “Various Instructions for the Practice of Poetic Field Research” in Ecotone’s Spring/Summer 2019 issue.
Anna Lena writes, “With this issue we debut a new department, Various Instructions, in which writers and artists will offer lists, prompts, formulas, how-to’s, and the like. We’re reprinting here the inspiration for it: Eric Magrane’s ‘Various Instructions for the Practice of Poetic Field Research.”
Sarah de Leeuw and I wrote a chapter on geopoetics for Antipode’s new book Keywords in Radical Geography: Antipode at 50. The whole book is free to access and download here.
Also in Antipode: I recently reviewed the book Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field (University of Iowa Press, 2018), edited by Angela Hume and Gillian Osborne. The review is available here.
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