A poetry anthology co-edited by Randolph English professor Laura-Gray Street has been generating great reviews and conversations about the environment.
The Ecopoetry Anthology includes hundreds of poems about nature and the environment. The poems date from the mid-nineteenth century to today and include poets such as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, and Muriel Rukeyser. Street compiled the anthology with Ann Fisher-Wirth, a poet and professor at the University of Mississippi. The poet Robert Haas wrote an introduction, and Trinity University Press published the book in February.
The book has drawn significant interest and praise in reviews. “It’s a must-read for everyone concerned with our disappearing environment,” said one reviewer.
“Poetry might not derail the course we’re on, but the poems gathered here just might soothe what ails us,” stated another reviewer, who added that the anthology does a good job of portraying the way poetry responded to growing understanding of the world and the impacts human activity has on nature. “These poets wrestled with the radical shift in consciousness brought on by scientific breakthroughs, and promoted astonishing growth in the field of poetics.”
“I’ve always thought poetry could change the world,” a third reviewer wrote. “With the best energies of Robert Hass, Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street, and these assembled poets, I believe we have a chance.”
Street and Fisher-Wirth recently gave interviews that have been published in Poecology and Orion Magazine.
Street said that a substantial amount of her work on the anthology was completed during the Randolph College Summer Research program with the assistance of Ashley Hale ’08 and Anneka Freeman ’10.