NONFICTION

Doomstead Days

Nightboat. Apr. 2019. 176p. ISBN 9781643620022. pap. $17.95. POETRY
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Lambda Literary Award winner Teare (The Room Where I Was Born) here delivers apocalyptic visions about gross environmental abuse: "Extinction follows us/ whether we mean it to or not/ We are the point/ the lever turns into/ a fulcrum: by wounding/ the world we lift ourselves/ up." Throughout, the poet shows that environmental degradation and the drainage of life in the natural world can tear apart the fabric of life itself. Teare's precise depiction of events, objects, and flora and fauna is dense with a haunting graphicity: "Awake/ sick bats use up winter/ fat stores & starve, thinned wings/ torn, riddles with lesion." He roams the landscape, documenting rivers, lands, streets, and coasts threatened with the shadow of bareness and hence cloaked with fear, rendering the environmental crisis with piercing imageries grounded on solid factual data and personal observation. Treating environmental issues such as oil spills, pollution, industrial toxins, forest fires, and more, he infuses his melancholic tone with strong conscious calls.
VERDICT These lyrical and evocative poems highlight the tentative interdependency between the natural and human worlds. Recommended for all poetry readers, especially those interested in ecopoetry.

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