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Barzakh is a biannual multi-genre journal with an internationalist stance. Emerging out of the English department at the University at Albany, SUNY, our focus is on innovative poetics, in keeping with a tradition of forward-looking department-based journals that spans from Don Byrd’s co-editorship of Jed Rasula’s Wch Way in the 1970s to The Little Magazine in the 1990s (our first issue features an interview with Rasula, and issues of both journals will be made available in our archive). We envisage the archive as a way to bring together our various departmental projects and initiatives, past and present, and to connect them to analogous or anomalous ventures elsewhere in the rhizomatic spirit of crossings that is Barzakh. Ours is not an “ism” but as an “isthmus” that links disparate articulations (between tongues, between histories) in the interplay of text, sound, and image.
For this issue, we seek papers, creative and critical, that touch upon the theme of Ecopoetics. How can poetry “act” within an increasingly threatened ecosystem? With the activist and ethical imperatives of ecopoetics, how might ecopoetics or ecocriticism respond to the material realities of a fragile ecology? Given recent developments in our ecosystem, such as the immanent collapse of Arctic sea ice, how does poetry respond to the natural world or critique our conceptions of it? What is at stake in representing the “natural,” and how might ecopoetics and ecocriticism undermine the category of the natural? Such questions necessarily entail a consideration of the representational practices that comprise an ecopoetic praxis. How do ecopoetics and ecocriticism negotiate the borderland between the natural and cultural? How might an ecological worldview disrupt our ideas about Nature itself?
Beyond the question of the natural, ecopoetics and ecocriticism open up opportunities to conceive of aesthetic forms from an ecological viewpoint. How might the poem be read as an ecosystem? How does textuality itself challenge our ecological assumptions and ask us to consider aesthetic and critical projects within a new ecological vocabulary? We are also interested in how forms of ecological thinking situate the body in new contexts and provoke broader questions about spatiality. These critical interests call for a consideration of the sociopolitical valences of ecopoetics and ecocriticism.
Other questions include: how might ecopoetics facilitate an embodied connection to our ecological system? How does ecopoetics materialize language and invite a sensually rich experience with natural and cultural forms? Moreover, how might we historicize and evaluate ecopoetics as a movement? We invite work that engages ecopoetics critically or creatively. Possible topics include: ecofeminism, posthumanism, ethnopoetics, biopoetics, biopolitics, ecocriticism, form as it is related to ecopoetics, ecolanguage, and queer ecology.
Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To access Barzakh, please visit: http://barzakh.net/site/