Monday, December 13, 2010

The Ground Aslant

A couple of years ago I mentioned here Harriet Tarlo's essay ‘Radical Landscapes’, in Jacket 32, and went on to describe (briefly, as usual) three poets she featured: Geraldine Monk, Colin Simms and Geoffrey Squires.  In January next year Shearsman are due to release The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, edited by Harriet Tarlo.  In an interesting preview article she argues that this writing cannot easily be contained within the definition of 'post-pastoral' put forward by Terry Gifford (see my earlier post on this).  She also contrasts radical landscape poetry with ecopoetry; given my occasional feelings of guilt that this blog is about landscape rather than ecology, it is quite heartening to read of a new book that is not another collection of environmental poetry.  She writes: 'although some landscape poets may be ecopoets and some ecopoets may be landscape poets, the two are by no means interchangeable. Ecopoetics goes beyond landscape into a wider political and global sphere and landscape poetry goes beyond an exclusive concern with the environment. For instance, the poetry here is still very much concerned with the relationship between the poet and the landscape, an age-old concern of poetry since the Romantic age, whereas some hardcore ecocritics assert that human concerns should be sublimated in ecopoetry. However, we also find some amazing writing about the relationship between the human and the non-human in innovative poetry.'  I am looking forward to reading it.

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