Anthropocene Poetics

9781517906252: Hardback
Release Date: 19th February 2019

9781517906269: Paperback
Release Date: 12th February 2019


Dimensions: 140 x 216

Number of Pages: 176

Series Posthumanities

University of Minnesota Press

Anthropocene Poetics

Deep Time, Sacrifice Zones, and Extinction

Hardback / £79.00
Paperback / £19.99

How poetry can help us think about and live in the Anthropocene by reframing our intimate relationship with geological time

The Anthropocene describes how humanity has radically intruded into deep time, the vast timescales that shape the Earth system and all life-forms that it supports. The challenge it poses—how to live in our present moment alongside deep pasts and futures—brings into sharp focus the importance of grasping the nature of our intimate relationship with geological time. In Anthropocene Poetics, David Farrier shows how contemporary poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Evelyn Reilly, and Christian Bök, among others, provides us with frameworks for thinking about this uncanny sense of time.

Looking at a diverse array of lyric and avant-garde poetry from three interrelated perspectives—the Anthropocene and the “material turn” in environmental philosophy; the Plantationocene and the role of global capitalism in environmental crisis; and the emergence of multispecies ethics and extinction studies—Farrier rethinks the environmental humanities from a literary critical perspective. Anthropocene Poetics puts a concern with deep time at the center, defining a new poetics for thinking through humanity’s role as geological agents, the devastation caused by resource extraction, and the looming extinction crisis. 

Introduction: Life Enfolded in Deep Time
1. Intimacy: The Poetics of Thick Time
2. Entangled: The Poetics of Sacrifice Zones
3. Swerve: The Poetics of Kin Making
Coda: Knots in Time

David Farrier is senior lecturer in modern and contemporary literature at the University of Edinburgh. He is author of Unsettled Narratives: The Pacific Writings of Stevenson, Ellis, Melville, and London and Postcolonial Asylum: Seeking Sanctuary before the Law.