Skip to content

The Ecopoetry Anthology

Ann Fisher-Wirth (Poetry Kanto 2012 & 2006 contributor) and Laura

Gray-Street have co-edited the new “The Ecopoetry Anthology.”

62367 10151655528183238 1265145192 n The Ecopoetry Anthology


In the  preface to their book they address the question of how to

define ‘ecopoetry’:


Nature poetry has existed as long as poetry has existed. Around

1960, however, public attention increasingly turned to the

burgeoning environmental crisis, and nature poetry began to

reflect this concern. In recent decades, the term “ecopoetry”

has come into use to designate poetry that in some way is

shaped by and responds specifically to that crisis. The term

has no precise definition and rather fluid boundaries, but some

things can usefully be said about it. Generally, this poetry

addresses contemporary problems and issues in ways that are

ecocentric and that respect the integrity of the other-than-human

world. It challenges the belief that we are meant to have

dominion over nature and is skeptical of a hyperrationality that

would separate mind from body–and earth and its creatures

from human beings–and that would give preeminence to

fantasies of control. Some of it is based in the conviction that

poetry can help us find our way back to an awareness that we

are at one with the more-than-human world.


They group the book’s generous contents into three categories–nature

poetry, environmental poetry, and ecological poetry. These groupings

are intended, the editors say, as a starting point or as a nexus of

interactions that constitute an ecopoetry which allows for capacities,

they argue, of “contemplation, activism, and self-reflexivity.”


Their selection of poets runs the gamut from the historical–over 100

pages long, beginning with Whitman and on to modernists like

Stevens, Pound, Eliot, Crane and Hughes– to the contemporary,

which includes 176 poets, arranged alphabetically, from A.R.

Ammons to Robert Wrigley. Variety is the keyword here, as well as

excellence as a standard applied to the poems they have selected.

Which makes this anthology a pleasure to engage with.


“The Ecopoetry Anthology,” with an introduction by Robert Hass, is

available here.