Patrick Dunagan on the eco language reader

The Eco Language Reader, edited by Brenda Iijima, Softcover, $19.95, Nightboat Books 2010

Continual Critique: After the After of Ecology
a review by Patrick Dunagan - an excerpt:

...Engaging questions such as, “How will we continue to read and write ecological engagement?” insistently point toward that very situation, without seeking to erect limitations around it. One possibility for how such a project may be framed is offered by Leslie Scalapino’s remark, “Seeing at the moment of, or at the time of, writing, what difference does one’s living make? What difference does one’s living make in ‘that’ space, and in relation to spaces all existing at once there?” The writers and thinkers here engage language while, all around them, that same language, by its very structure and referential nature, is a force for domination and destruction of the various natural systems within which life exists. Poets are in a unique position to critique that situation. They are intimate with the force that language yields, not only in regards to realms beyond the window, but also to interior social environments. Poets as language-bearers have a vital role to play in the engagement and exchange of ideas, as Leslie Scalapino quips: “I don’t find the relation of language to so-called ‘political’ events to be illogical.”


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