Chapter Published in The Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics

Posted October 17, 2023:

I am happy to announce that my chapter “Will plastic make life impossible?: Transpacific Poets Confront Ocean Plastic” has just been published in the The Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics, which is a great collection edited by Julia Fiedorczuk, Mary Newell, Bernard Quetchenbach, and Orchid Tierney. 

You can find the collection HERE. I have included my chapter’s abstract below.

Abstract for “Will plastic make life impossible?: Transpacific Poets Confront Ocean Plastic”
Ocean plastic is a substantial and growing problem. One way ecopoets have responded to ocean plastic is through mimetic fragmentation, modeling via linguistic fragmentation and circulation ocean plastic’s own recirculation through diverse assemblages. Here I consider three examples from the Transpacific Literary Project’s online folio The Margins, which between Oct. 25, 2018 and Dec. 7, 2018 released 13 pieces on the theme of plastic. I focus on three texts, “Work Accident Joint Investigative Report” by Chinese poet Xie Xiangnan, “Pearl & Peril” by Tamil American poet Divya Victor, and “The Age of Plastic” by native Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez. These texts recirculate language from different sources such as factory accident reports and news articles as a means of rethinking plastic’s creation, usage, and effects. Drawing on Herbert Marcuse’s concept of technological rationality, I show how an innovation like plastic can in turn impose its own problematic logic, and how through linguistic rearrangements poets are able to use language as a means of challenging normative assumptions buried within language.