Poetry, Plants, and the Anthropocene will introduce work by contemporary American poets whose representations of plants draw attention to human-caused environmental devastation and the consequences for both human and non-human lives. Writing early in the 19th century, the poet John Keats stated that the “great end” of poetry was “to soothe the cares and lift the thoughts of men.” Rather than soothing readers’ cares, many poets today strive to unsettle their readers and cultivate awareness of the troubling challenges we face, including accelerating climate change and the injustice of its uneven impacts. Behind this insistence on our immediate cares lies a hope that poems might advance the process of addressing those challenges.
Join Lynn Keller at the UW Arboretum for a free talk that explores the environmental challenges of our time through poetry. Space is limited. Advance registration is requested.