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Environment and Fiction

Critical Readings

Edited By Özden Sözalan and Inci Bilgin Tekin

The essays in this volume engage with questions concerning the relationships between fictional texts and environmental issues in their various articulations, and offer critical readings that display the theoretical diversity in the current reconsiderations of the place of human in relation to nature and the environment. Written by scholars working in separate yet closely related disciplines in the field of humanities, the essays present analyses of literary and cultural texts, performed with the critical tools provided by studies in ecology, ecofeminism, urban studies, posthumanism and animal studies as well as genre-specific approaches.

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Ecofeminist Ecopoetics and Carol Ann Duffy (Özlem Karadağ)

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Özlem Karadağ

Carol Ann Duffy, who brought together “poems about our vanishing insect world” for The Guardian (2019), has claimed that “When we demean language, we demean our lives, our society and ultimately our planet. Poetry stands against this, timelessly, in Sappho, Shakespeare, John Donne, Emily Dickinson” (“Into thin air”). During a time when Brexit heavily overshadowed Britain, Duffy considers environmental poems are more crucial than the political ones, because the ecological crisis is more urgent and affected directly by human actions. Duffy, who served as the first female poet laureate of the United Kingdom between 2009 and 2019, is a poet who thinks that everything on this Earth is connected, and she believes that poets are primarily responsible towards this planet. Although Duffy does not refer to herself as an ecofeminist poet or to her poetry as environmental, her approach to nature and generally subjugated human and nonhuman other(s) positions her poetry as ecofeminist ecopoetics, two approaches that are united in this context to read Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry.

Duffy’s poems reveal a desire to pay homage to those who are oppressed and silenced by the patriarchal order, which is a white-Western-male-oriented system that is biased against mostly people of color, women, nonhuman animals,1 and nature with a misplaced concept of humanism. Furthermore, the main characteristic of her poetry is the way she uses language. She reloads words with new meanings and aims at uniting each life form on the planet, from humans...

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