“In the face of destruction and dread we must continue to be creative and hopeful.” — – Craig Santos Perez
In this class we will explore how creative writing can engage, interrogate, and prompt change within our current environmental crises. We will read poetry and prose that grapple with environmental concerns, investigate relationships between place and people, and push us toward environmental justice—environmentalism fundamentally linked to social justice. We will read these works through a writer’s lens, analyzing their subjects alongside their techniques and forms. From our discussions of texts, writing exercises, and research, we will create our own poems and prose that seek to critically engage and creatively (de)humanize the environmental issues that impact us all. We’ll investigate as writers issues concerning indigenous environmentalism, Black ecopoetics, ecofeminism, food and water scarcity, as well as clifi within speculative fiction. A central question to this course is what impact creative writing can have on environmental policy or action, as well as what activist writers can contribute beyond the page. This course includes community activism as collaboration, designing and implementing a project that coheres creative writing and an environmental topic of your group’s choosing.