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from interview by Stan Apps of James Sherry in Jacket 39 regarding his book on environmental poetics, Sorry

see full interview

"The effort to build a culture of environmentalism cannot be undertaken by one person. Individuals, small and large groups, working on problems with related interests and intentions, build a culture reflecting the complexity of nature. But there are risks.


Very few synthetic compositions result in viable poems in the same way that few mutations result in viable organisms. Many efforts suffer from being still born contraptions that do not themselves take on life. The notion of willing a poem into perfection may be a victim of this process. Obviously, though, I am not able to divine what people can come up with. But all these efforts are opportunities to learn.


Environmental poetics treats humanity and nature as a single complex system. It attempts many other modes than description. It uses natural structures as analogs to poetic form and those options are virtually limitless. Some good examples of recent successes are Kim Rosenfield’s Re: Evolution (Les Figues, 2008) and Evelyn Reilly’s Styrofoam (Roof, 2009). I want to put together a fuller list, but haven’t done so. More and more people are borrowing natural form and themes to help construct their works."