Atmospheric and geological entanglements : north american ecopoetry and the anthropocene
Abstract: Atmospheric and Geological Entanglements is a study of contemporary North American ecopoetry, a poetry which is characterized by a negotiation or subversion of established cultural representations of nature, and by a re-deployment of poetic forms such as lyrical poetry, pastoral and elegy. The studied poets experiment with form and question well-established categories such as human and nature, instead emphasizing connections between the human, other organisms, and inorganic matter. Their poetry—one of several results of their artistic and critical practice, or poetics—thus highlights entanglements of various kinds and draws attention to the world as varied, complex and interconnected. The study has a specific focus on how twentieth-century ecopoetry relates to two material and aesthetic dimensions of the Anthropocene: the atmospheric and the geological. Geological imagery has been dominant in discussions about and in the Anthropocene, but ecopoetry emphasizes song, breathing and air as liberating atmospheric figures for communication and relationships, and for thinking with others and the planet.
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