Poetry and Sustainability in Education

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Sandra Lee Kleppe and Angela Sorby
contact email: 

Call for Papers/Submissions


Contributions are invited for a volume of essays that connect poetry to education for sustainable development. Education for sustainable development—ESD— is becoming an overarching link between disciplines rather than a subordinate pursuit in education. Scholars and readers of poetry can attest to how it sustains us in our lifelong learning, including our emotional, creative, linguistic, communicative, and analytical development. The concept of “sustainability” surpasses such topics as conservation and recycling; it has a long history in poetry and critical writing, most fully (although not exclusively) articulated by the field of ecocriticism. Yet literature in general, and the field of poetry in particular, is only beginning to come to terms with the larger implications of sustainability as a broader cross- disciplinary discourse with the potential to promote lifelong learning and environmental engagement.

A central hypothesis of the Poetry and Sustainability in Education volume is that aesthetic abilities are inherent in all humans, and that poetry (in all its cultural and historical manifestations) is a distinctive, and distinctively experiential, form of knowledge. Exposure to poems—as texts, as performances, and as occasions for creative expression— can lead to cross-disciplinary learning. The main goal of this volume is to offer instructors, at all levels, research-based approaches to teaching poetry in the context of ESD. The volume will explore how poetry can facilitate education for sustainable development across disciplines, in the context of a changing educational landscape and a changing planet.

We welcome scholars across all disciplines whose work integrates poetry with ESD to submit either an abstract or a full essay for publication consideration in the volume. Essays may focus on research or applied pedagogy. Abstracts should be 200-300 words; full essays 5000-7000 words (including references). Send your abstract or essay to the editors, Professor Sandra Kleppe and Professor Angela Sorby, along with a brief cv, no later than 31 March 2019: 

sandra.kleppe@inn.no, angela.sorby@marquette.edu 

If your abstract is accepted, there will be a nine month period to complete the full essay. Contributors are encouraged to submit only if they can meet the deadlines.  The volume editors will review all submissions between June and December, 2019. If your essay is accepted there will be a 6-week period to complete any necessary revisions. The prospective publisher of the volume is Palgrave Macmillan; the volume will also be subject to their review process. The publication date is 2020. 

Note that we are also planning panels/roundtables at two international conferences: 

  • Poetry and Sustainability in Education, panel/roundtable at the 2019 Midwest Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois, November 14-17 
  • Poetry in Education Symposium, panel/roundtable or workshop, Gothenburg University, Sweden, December 5-7, 2019