ORION Magazine features Ann Fisher-Wirth’s new book in Collecting the New Ecopoetry, a conversation on the publication’s blog.
Though Orion has published many poems that explore the connection between humans and the natural world, there’s much worth reading beyond the magazine’s pages. Earlier this year, Trinity University Press published The Ecopoetry Anthology, a definitive new collection of poems about nature and environment from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Orion friend and poetDerek Sheffield spoke with the anthology’s editors, Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street.
Derek Sheffield: Where did the idea for The Ecopoetry Anthology come from?
Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street: The first conception of the book that became The Ecopoetry Anthology was an idea for a collection of poems written by members of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, the 1,000-member organization known as ASLE in which both of us—Ann and Laura-Gray—have been active for many years. But this plan seemed too small. So we played with the idea of putting together a collection of international ecopoetry, and went so far as to put out a call for submissions and gather a great many poems. But that plan was too big. So, in dialogue with our editor at Trinity University Press, Barbara Ras, we arrived at the idea of creating an anthology of ecopoetry from the United States. And this plan was just right—so that’s what we did. That original idea is now so composted under layers of new thinking and new input that it’s almost unrecognizable, but it was rich soil for what The Ecopoetry Anthology grew into.