I couldn’t be more honored to be reading with this incredible lineup of poets for the The End Will Not be Sugared: Contemporary Apocalypse Poetry in San Antonio during AWP at The Cherrity Bar. Special thanks to Jennifer Hancock and Juan Morales for coordinating the event in conjunction with their forthcoming anthology by the same name. Click here to RSVP on Facebook or if you’re in the area, feel free to stop in and say hello!
You can find me a couple of other times/places during AWP:
- Thursday, 11am – 3pm, conference check-in volunteer
- Friday, 11am – 12pm, AWP Writer to Writer Bookfair Booth
Submissions are now open for the anthology on Submittable, no fee to submit, deadline May 31, 2020. Stay tuned for my detailed interview with the editors later on in March.
The End Will Not be Sugared: Contemporary Apocalypse Poetry will be an anthology of contemporary poetry on apocalyptic themes. While it will certainly include poems focused on environmental collapse, it will not be predominantly ecopoetic in focus. Rather, we wish to showcase the full range of poetic responses to the breakdown of society and its structures, technological advance and collapse, environmental destruction and purification, human hubris, popular culture (including zombies and the fetishization of “prepping”), and hope and despair. Though it will likely articulate a particularly evangelical, Protestant American obsession with the apocalypse, the collection will also reveal an inclusive and diverse look at the world through the many different, rendered versions of the end times.
Poets are addressing how apathy, well-intentioned innovations, and our own direct implication shape our understanding of climate change, pandemics, and the human toll on this planet. Mid-century poets and other artists wrestled with the atomic age, but we’ve moved beyond the fear of—to the inevitability of—. Contemporary poets are writing the elegies of the human race.
Additionally, poets have never to this degree competed with (and been inspired by) popular culture’s attempts to address the same concerns. Poets like Rae Armantrout are writing about show-runners crafting our conflicts, and confronting the spectacle of Russell Crowe in Noah. While we might be tempted to dismiss this as “merely” postmodern, what it really shows is the intra- and inter-connectedness of all things made of language, a deeply important concept as we face the likely end of the world as we know it. This anthology will assemble the poets who are carving out a brand new space for poetry in the public’s consciousness.
At the heart of apocalypse writing there is humanity, persistence, and survival through storytelling, and contemporary poetry is a larger part of apocalypse writing than is currently realized. Ultimately, the anthology’s emphasis is on humanity as cause, chroniclers, witnesses, victims, celebrants, and survivors.