Poetics of Climate Change

In The New Poetics of Climate Change, Matthew Griffiths asks, “Must poetry of climate change belong in the tradition of the pastoral or the elegy? […] What alternative models or approaches might there be?” This panel will illuminate some of those alternative models and approaches. Oliver Baez Bendorf will share work that uses formal strategies, such as ekphrasis, to queer climate change. Nodding to strategies of elimination bound up with responses to climate change, Kristi Maxwell uses the lipogram, writing that excludes one or more letters, to explore what happens when what is endangered is instead absent—gone. Annie Finch will share work that weaves metrical patterns into a form of echolocation, a Morse Code of heartbeat and breathing that stretches beyond body and page, spiraling out in urgent kinship towards the endangered rhythms of the world. Kristen Miller, translator of Pekuakamishkueu poet Marie-Andrée Gill’s SPAWN, will read translations that engage ecological decline in context of imperialism and the encroachment of development, logging, overfishing, and pollution into the natural landscape of the Mashteuiatsh reserve. Bronwen Tate will share work centered on metonymy and contiguity, formal strategies Tate began thinking about in relation to climate change after a move from San Francisco to rural Vermont. She will be reading poems that ask how we might open our gaze to trace connections between what we come into immediate contact with—like floods, foods, or fuel—and the origins and destinations of these things within a larger network.