Ecopoetics Along Shorelines


May 27, 2018

In the beginning, we’re introduced to the pressure of time. The Carboniferous and Ecopoetics speeds up and slows down the growth of plants and organisms in order to walk through the beginning of life and the introduction of human destruction of that life. We are able to see the pressure of time build as we humans discover coal (there’s also the “heat and intensifying pressure [that] metamorphose the lignite into soft coal”) and the carbon that has been buried for millions of years begins its release into the atmosphere. This leads into the next pressure of human impact on environment.

May 15, 2018

Messages from Frank’s Landing begins with lists of what settlers attempted to control when they first arrived. They tried to change their practices, their speaking, even their names in an attempt to “better assimilate” into their new culture. The first act of defiance (in the text) came from Nisqually leader Leschi who tore up Stevens’ treaty. These treaties attempted to police and control what the indigenous people already used and “owned,” through a government put into place without their voice. The fight for fishing grounds that lead to the Boldt decision was a series of resistances that prevailed over control.

May 8, 2018

The concept of traces first appeared in relation to Herko’s excess, or surplus. He can almost be traced through history and memories because of his association with costumes and dramatics. Munoz notes that “Herko’s camp theatrics are always mentioned when he is included in the history of postmodern dance” (150). Although he is often not included (see: “read outside of official documentation”), when he is, it is at stark contrast with the minimalist fashion of his time. His life, death, and art are all notable for their “expressive exuberance,” which is also a through-line for his relation to other notable artists.

April 23, 2018

While some argue that we need to look at the world from far away in order to see the damage we’ve inflicted, Alaimo finds that “zooming out” detaches humans from their role and relationship with non-human creatures. Maps of the anthropocene ignore “the liveliness of all creatures except for the human” (146). People observe, without being called to action. She would perhaps like Edmondson’s close observation of a specific area to track the relationships between species and disturbances. The Muckleshoot article looks at the barriers to policies that may (or may not) have helped the environment had they come to fruition.

April 9, 2018

Much of Rodriguez’s poems occur on the bridge between spaces, people, and culture. In his poems, Rodriguez bridges language. He mixes English with Spanish: “wanted to be buried / with Sinaloenses / dancing on his grave / to the tune of / ‘La Ultima Paranda.'” He creates spaces to connect people (“Witnesses, looking like sad paintings, / sit in pews of swirled wood. / Policeman laugh in the hallways . / For months I visited these marble corridors”) from different walks of life. He finds the boundaries of his own city, “across the LA river / concrete border / of scrawled walls.” Boundaries aren’t the nepantla, they are the space.

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