<b>The Ecopoetics of Survival: The <i>Transborder Immigrant Tool</i> and <i>The Desert Survival Series</i></b> // La ecopoética de la supervivencia: <i>Transborder Immigrant Tool</i> y <i>The Desert Survival Series</i>

  • Melissa Fran Zeiger Dartmouth College
Keywords: Design, randomness, poetry, poetics, ecology, georgic, pastoral, border, desert, migrants // Diseño, aleatoriedad, poesía, poética, ecología, geórgicas, pastoril, frontera, desierto, migrantes

Abstract

      The Desert Survival Series (2010, 2014) by Amy Sara Carroll, a set of poems that forms part of an activist project called the Transborder Immigrant Tool, departs from the methods of both radical political poetry and some avant-gardist forms of aesthetic resistance that rely on a poetics of randomness to challenge the prevailing order. Instead, the DSS employs design—the design of the poetic object revealing other designs—as a political resource. It addresses a group endangered and abjected by the United States government: migrants crossing the Sonora desert. In doing so, it recalls traditional forms such as the pastoral and the georgic in order to reimagine earlier attitudes toward poetic making, hierarchical politics, and the environment. Orienting in their address to migrants, disorienting and counterintuitive with reference to their contemporary poetic context, the poems are of interest for debates around ecopoetics, because they make an intervention in the domains of environmental poetry as well as political activism of the border.

 

Resumen

      La serie Desert Survival (Supervivencia en el desierto) (2010, 2014) de Amy Sara Carroll, un grupo de poemas dentro del proyecto artivista llamado Transborder Immigrant Tool (La Herramienta del Inmigrante Transfronterizo), se aleja de los métodos tanto de la poesía política más radical como de algunas formas de vanguardistas de resistencia estética dependientes de una poética de lo aleatorio para desafiar el orden predominante. En su lugar, la serie Desert Survival utiliza el diseño—el diseño del objeto poético que revela otros posibles diseños—como una herramienta política. Esta enfocada a un grupo en peligro y vilipendiado por el gobierno de Estados Unidos: los migrantes cruzando el desierto de Sonora. De esta manera, recupera formas tradicionales como el género pastoril y las geórgicas para reimaginar actitudes pasadas hacia la creación poética, la política jerárquica y el medio ambiente. Los poemas están dirigidos a orientar a los migrantes, aunque su vocación en el contexto poético contemporáneo es desorientadora y contraintuitiva. Son poemas interesantes en los debates de lo ecopoético, pues postulan la intervención de la poesía sobre el medio ambiente al igual que sobre el activismo político en la frontera. 

Author Biography

Melissa Fran Zeiger, Dartmouth College
Melissa Zeiger is Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College.  She teaches courses and writes on: garden literature; ecocriticism; immigrant writing; Jewish women’s writing; feminist criticism and theory; queer poetry; politics of the love lyric; modern poetry; women's poetry; Elizabeth Bishop; the poetry and politics of illness; cultural memory theory.  Her first book was a feminist analysis of elegy (Beyond Consolation, 1997); she recently published an article on romance novels about breast cancer; and she is currently writing a book on the poetics and politics of garden writing, one chapter of which appeared in 2017 as "Derek Jarman's Garden Politics" in a special issue of HumanitiesJournalon "Crisis."
Published
2019-04-27
Section
Articles: Toward an Ecopoetics of Randomness and Design