Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field makes a formidable intervention into the emerging field of ecopoetics. The volume’s essays model new and provocative methods for reading twentieth and twenty-first century ecological poetry and poetics, drawing on the insights of ecocriticism, contemporary philosophy, gender and sexuality studies, black studies, Native studies, critical race theory, and disability studies, among others.
Contributors offer readings of a diverse range of poets, few of whom have previously been read as nature writers—from midcentury Beat poet Michael McClure, Objectivist poet George Oppen, and African American poets Melvin Tolson and Robert Hayden; to contemporary writers such as Diné poet Sherwin Bitsui, hybrid/collage poets Claudia Rankine and Evelyn Reilly, and members of the Olimpias disability culture artists’ collective. While addressing preconceptions about the categories of nature writing and ecopoetics, contributors explore, challenge, and reimagine concepts that have been central to environmental discourse, from apocalypse and embodiment to toxicity and sustainability.
As a volume, Ecopoetics makes the compelling argument that ecopoetics should be read as “coextensive with post-1945 poetry and poetics,” rather than as a subgenre or movement within it. It is essential reading for any student or scholar working on contemporary literature or in the environmental humanities today.