Zoë Brigley’s anti-violence advocacy and Kristian Evans’s ecological activism are uniquely matched in this transatlantic conversation, inspired by the ancient Japanese writing form zuihitsu. These letters written between July and September 2019 ask what ‘dwelling’ with nature might mean, and how we might live more ethically with the environment and each other.
To begin a conversation about dwelling and environmental ethics, I have to be honest – and it’s a bit scandalous of me to say it – I don’t really like talking about climate change. It has become too abstract, too judgemental, too impossible. It almost forces us into a posture of mourning and guilt… as this big abstract monster looms over us. I think about mass extinction rather than climate these days, as it has a more immediate reality. And it’s sobering to remember that humans too are ultimately on the list of at-risk species.Sign in to read more
Originally from Maesteg, Zoë Brigley is Assistant Professor in English and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University, and her most recent publications are a poetry collection Hand & Skull (Bloodaxe) and a collection of nonfiction, Notes from a Swing State: Writing from Wales and America (Parthian). Brigley and Evans will be editing (with Rob A. Mackenzie) a forthcoming issue of Magma Poetry on the theme ‘dwelling’. Kristian Evans has written extensively for performance, for example, The Mirror’s Grain (2010) a psychogeography of the ‘buried city’ of Kenfig, and A Conference of Birds (2015). A pamphlet of poems,Unleaving (2016) combined experimental and traditional techniques to explore ideas of self and place.