Stick in a thumb and pull out a plum: Poetry and Consumption … Plumwood Mountain Vol 5 No 1 is live

A new issue of Plumwood Mountain, self-described as ‘An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics’, is now live with 31 poems guest edited by Michael Farrell on the theme ‘Poetry and Consumption’, a bumper set of 20 book reviews, an essay on Amitav Ghosh by Jennifer Mackenzie and the section ‘Poets speak up to Adani’.

Plenty to sink your teeth into here, opening with Michael Farrell’s challenging introduction entitled ‘Poetry and Consumption’. (Challenging? Perhaps ‘polished outrage’ is a more appropriate descriptor, where outrage isn’t necessarily obvious – Michael’s wording is considered, erudite –  but I imagine there’s a causal connection).

There is a philosophical, and practical, movement known as “voluntary simplicity” which cuts down on consumption through living more simply and sparely. This notion, of “voluntary simplicity”, challenges the usefulness of the term “sustainability” which, in its function as a buzzword, encourages consumption. Many poets live a life of involuntary simplicity, at least relative to their earning peers. But how do we think this through in poetry, poetics? The spare lyric may appeal to some, but do we all want to write like every word that comes out of our world-destroying laptops is precious, and should be scratched on a bone in a field and praised in the New York Times? (if you count sales as praise). It sounds like a recipe for kitsch: the opposite of necessary (unless you’re a kitsch fetishist). The earth is not spare. Fire, for one thing, is more baroque.

Anne M Carson’s review of Marietta Elliott-Kleerkoper’s popped out at me as worth the read, as did Daniela Brozek Cordier’s review of Kristen Lang’s SkinNotes, Brianna Bullen’s review of Petra White’s Reading for a Quiet Morning; and the section ‘Poets Speak Up to Adani’, (poems were posted as part of an online day of action at Plumwood Mountain journal on 30 October 2017 and include Judith Rodriquez, Jennifer Harrison, Anthony Lawrence, Jill Jones, Susan Hawthorne, Jennifer Maiden. Judith Beveridge, Alex Skovron, Kevin Brophy, Robert Adamson, John Kinsella and many, many more).

Visit the journal at Plumwood Mountain Volume 5 Number 1

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