[Reprinted from Jacket: http://jacket2.org/commentary/jonathan-skinner] Jonathan Skinner, a 2011-2012 Fellow with Cornell Society for the Humanities, founded and edits the journal ecopoetics. His poetry collections include Birds of Tifft (BlazeVOX, 2011) and Political Cactus Poems (Palm Press, 2005), and his most recent essays, on urban landscape and poetics, have appeared, in Qui Parle (19.2) and in the Ecolanguage Reader (Nightboat Books, 2011). Skinner also keeps a blog on the parks of Frederick Law Olmsted, Spoils of the Park.
What is ecopoetics? The term is used more than it is discussed. For some readers, ecopoetics is the making and study of pastoral poetry, or poetry of wilderness and deep ecology. Or poetry that explores the human capacity for becoming animal, as well as humanity’s ethically challenged relation to other animals. For others, it is poetry that confronts disasters and environmental injustices, including the difficulties and opportunities of urban environments. For yet others, ecopoetics is not a matter of theme, but of how certain poetic methods model ecological processes like complexity, non-linearity, feedback loops, and recycling. Or how “slow poetry” can join in the same kind of push for a sustainable, regional economy that “eating locally” does. Or how poetic experimentation complements scientific methods in extending a more reciprocal relation to alterity— ecopoetics as a “poethics.” Or even how translation can diversify the “monocrop” of a hegemonic language like English. “Greener than thou” claims finally are the least interesting dimension of ecopoetics, especially given the ease of “greenwashing.” Rather than locate a “kind” of writing as “ecopoetic,” it may be more helpful to think of ecopoetics as a form of site-specificity— to shift the focus from themes to topoi, tropes and entropologies, to institutional critique of “green” discourse itself, and to an array of practices converging on the oikos, the planet earth that is the only home our species currently knows.....
Selected e-Bibliography re. Climate Crisis Emergency by the Editor of Eco-Poetry.org:
"Climate Change: Catastrophic New Math:" July 19, 2012: Rolling Stone and PBS: Bill McKibben: http:// www.350.org/ “It’s been an almost unbelievably hot summer. We’re living through epic droughts. We’ve seen the biggest wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado in our history. We’ve seen temperature records fall one after another — more than 3,200 new high temperature records set in June alone. And that’s not just here — this past June was the warmest ever measured across the northern hemisphere. There are crop-withering droughts in much of Eastern Europe right now, epic flooding in India. What we’re seeing is a distillation of what climate change looks like….
“Paradise lost?" By William Brangham August 10, 2012 “Need to Know” PBS Channel 13 The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau is a paradise on earth. This band of several hundred islands is home to some of the world’s most stunning marine life, and to the twenty thousand people who live there. But like many low-lying nations across the world, Palau is threatened by the effects of climate change and sea-level rise….
Al Gore’s Latest Book: OUR CHOICE: How to Solve the Climate Crisis Now Upon USA: http://ourchoicethebook.com/
“The Endless Summer” By Mark Bittman: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/the-endless-summer/?nl=opinion&emc=edit_ty_20120719 The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic By RICHARD A. MULLER Berkeley, Calif. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/
"What Is Ecopoetics?" blog by Jonathan Skinner from Jacket: http://jacket2.org/commentary/jonathan-skinner
Climate Change Impacts on the United States The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change Overview. National Assessment Synthesis Team, US Global Change Research Program (2000) http://www.gcrio.org/NationalAssessment/overpdf/overview.html
International Resources European Climate Change Programme II: Impacts and Adaptation – exploring options to improve Europe’s resilience to climate change effects and defining the European Union role in climate change adaptation. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/eccp_impacts.htm
“Operationalizing Adaptation to Climate Change,” Adaptation to Climate Change in Canada - Conference Board’s 2nd report on adaptation issues identifies specific actions for the private and public sectors to help integrate adaptation to climate change into decision-making. http://www.conferenceboard.ca/documents.asp?rnext=1902