Friday, January 09, 2009

In a new Terrain

It may sound like I've taken off on a cross-country hike, and in a literary sense that may be true ...

I have two poems in the new issue of Terrain: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments. It's one of my favorite publications, combining literature and concerns about the environment and the way we live in it. Simmons B. Buntin publishes and edits this wide-ranging review. Happily he chooses to include poetry and art in the chorus of commentary and reflection. His essay "The Literal Landscape" in the new issue is thought-provoking for poets as well as writers of memoir. He states the case for the conjunction of landscape and literature thus:

"Regardless of its specific geography, however, landscape is frequently the defining feature of memoir. While it is not possible to craft memoir completely absent of landscape, in modern literary memoir landscape usually plays a critical role."

As poetry is akin to memoir in so often being centered on intimate personal experience, I think the statement applies well to poems. How often does a poem fail for lack of specific context, or landscape, however minute or vast?

I'm especially happy to have these two poems, "Designer" and "O Beautiful," selected for Terrain, as they approach the subject from the two very different angles that interest me, architecture and our relationship with wild animals.

2 comments:

  1. Ah, but the new issue isn't up yet, and then the editorial you kindly reference will actually be last issue's! The new issue will likely launch late on the 10th, and then your lovely poems (written and spoken!) will be available.

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  2. Sorry about the mixup! I spent all Friday dating things January 10, a day ahead of myself as usual. I'll blog again when it's up.

    But people should still read your essay! I'll point out both issues.

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