Orchid Tierney (Kenyon College)
According to Michael Marder, “Plant-thinking” refers to “the non-cognitive, non-ideational, and non-imagistic mode of thinking proper to plants” or “thinking without the head.” Taking seriously the idea that plant thinking enables new perspectives on human encounters with the vegetal condition, this roundtable explores the vegetal poetics that engage with the agency, imaginaries, or futurities of—and the human entanglements with—plant lifeforms. Representative poets and writers in this vein might include Janice Lee, Evelyn Reilly, Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, ELÆ, Camille T. Dungy, and Petra Kuppers. If we, humans, are pre-plant as Maureen N. McLane also provocatively proposes, we should ask: what are our responsibilities to the daisy, tree, or lichen? How does experimental ecopoetry imagine plants, whether collectively or individually, as philosophical sites of inquiry? How does plant thinking help poets engage with broad ecological malaise and contemporary social-political ruptures, such as climate change, deforestation, or the forest fires in Brazil, Australia, and California? Further, can a poetics of plant thinking help us reimagine our networks with the more-than-human world?
This roundtable invites abstracts between 200-300 words from both poets and academics who engage with plant thinking and the plant-based or plant-like registers of poetry. Abstracts may address contemporary American, Canadian, and Pacific Island poetry as they intersect with experimental forms, or hybrid writing more generally, mycological networks, collage, vispo, the archive, or sound poetry broadly conceived.