Reading Environments: Poetics and Activism

Image by Georg Herman, 'Small Motifs of Insects and Plants' (1596) via The MET
Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 4.00pm - 6.00pm

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MECO Seminar Room S226, John Woolley Building,
Manning Road,
University of Sydney


Reading Environments is a new series of gatherings sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute and open to staff and students from across the University of Sydney.

Environmental-humanist work, and environmental speech more generally, frequently explore relations of critique, resistance, and grief. Late last year, the ecopoetry journal Plumwood Mountain orchestrated an “online day of action” to oppose the Adani Group’s planned mine and rail project in Queensland. Part of that action involved assembling “Poets Speaking up to Adani,” a mustering of more than forty poems. In this meeting of Reading Environments, on November 20th, we’ll discuss these poems and the project they collectively comprise, as well as broader relations between activism, creative practice, and scholarship. How does this collection model a polyvocal, multi-directional way of thinking and responding? What worlds do these poems address and open?

The poems can be found here: https://plumwoodmountain.com/poets-speaking-up-to-adani/

In the words of Plumwood Mountain, from October 2017: “Poets, in the spirit of Judith Wright and Val Plumwood, are joining a groundswell of resistance that the Wangan and Jagalingou Defence of Country and the related Stop Adani campaigns represent. Follow along as we post poetry today, some protest, some dystopia, some speaking simply to a world view different from a corporate mining one.”

We’ll also discuss, Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna’s “Rise: From One Island to Another,” and as usual, we’ll be thinking about the ways that these texts resonate in and around our own work.

For more information, contact Killian Quigley (killian.quigley@sydney.edu.au) and/or Hal Conyngham (halconyngham@gmail.com)