Thinking Continental


Thinking Continental

Writing the Planet One Place at a Time

Edited by Tom Lynch, Susan Naramore Maher, Drucilla Wall, and O. Alan Weltzien

378 pages
15 photographs


November 2017


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2017


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2017


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In response to the growing scale and complexity of environmental threats, this volume collects articles, essays, personal narratives, and poems by more than forty authors in conversation about “thinking continental”—connecting local and personal landscapes to universal systems and processes—to articulate the concept of a global or planetary citizenship.

Reckoning with the larger matrix of biome, region, continent, hemisphere, ocean, and planet has become necessary as environmental challenges require the insights not only of scientists but also of poets, humanists, and social scientists. Thinking Continental braids together abstract approaches with strands of more-personal narrative and poetry, showing how our imaginations can encompass the planetary while also being true to our own concrete life experiences in the here and now.

Author Bio

Tom Lynch is a coeditor, with Susan Maher, of Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley (Nebraska, 2012). Susan Naramore Maher is the author of Deep Map Country: Literary Cartography of the Great Plains (Nebraska, 2014). Drucilla Wall is the author of two poetry collections, including The Geese at the Gates. O. Alan Weltzien is the author of Exceptional Mountains: A Cultural History of the Pacific Northwest Volcanoes (Nebraska, 2016). 


"Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place as a Time is an anthology of poetry, personal narratives, and critical essays that responds holistically to the unprecedented pressures on the environment today."—Greg Brown, World Literature Today

"With its novel conjunction of scientists and artists, this collection is not only a groundbreaking but also a wave-making model of collaborative mapping."—John Shoptaw, Western American Literature

"In this diverse and varied anthology, editors Thomas Lynch, Susan Naramore Maher, Drucilla Wall, and O. Alan Weltzien bring together different perspectives, bridging the gap between the local and planetary scales most commonly seen in environmental writing."—Cory Willard, Goose

“This is exactly the kind of book that helps us to understand where and who we are, what it means to be ‘emplaced’ on this planet.”—Scott Slovic, coeditor of Ecocritical Aesthetics: Language, Beauty, and the Environment

“With the help of literature, these essays and poems lead us from personal particulars to our shared planet, and in so doing, they nourish our filamentary imaginations.”—SueEllen Campbell, author of The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture

“Time and again I found articles, essays, and poems working together like facets of a prism, a succeeding work illuminating the one before it and setting up resonances with the one to follow.”—Robert Root, author of Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place

Table of Contents

Introduction: An Alignment of Stones    
Part 1. Ground Truths
A World of Islands    
Elizabeth Dodd
Three Stations along the Ring of Fire    
O. Alan Weltzien
The Deepest Layer    
Harmon Maher
Deep Mapping Communities in the West of Ireland    
Nessa Cronin
Where Narratives Met: Microplace and Macrospace in Early Fascist Primary School Textbooks and the Case of Eugenio Cirese’s Gente buona (1925)    
Fabiana Dimpflmeier
Imagining the Memory of the Earth: Geo-Site and the Aesthetic of the Anthropocene    
Andrea Benassi
Cacophonous Silence (The Sound of Falling Wildly): A Transnational Experiment in Ecological Performance Poiesis    
Jess Allen and Bronwyn Preece
Poetry 1: Ground Truths
Meadows and Fireflies    
Aliki Barnstone
Sonora Desert: Winter Afternoon Singing Itself    
Alberto Ríos
Too Easy    
Greg Delanty
Twyla Hansen
Strata Songs: Galway and Arizona    
Susan Millar DuMars
Sutra, in Umber    
Kimberly Blaeser
After Taiwan    
Kimberly Blaeser
Birth of a Nation    
Colm Tóibín
Tess Gallagher
Matters of Geneva    
Dawn Dupler
The Course of the Peculiar    
Michael Heffernan
Tsé Bit’a’í    
Christine Casson
Konza Prairie    
O. Alan Weltzien
Glaciers, Mountains, Falls    
David Brannan
Part 2. Watershed Ways
Braided Channels of Watershed Consciousness: Loren Eiseley’s “The Flow of the River” and the Platte Basin Timelapse Project    
Tom Lynch
Plovers, Great Blues, Horned Owl: A Poet’s Ecotone    
Brendan Galvin
Superior: Reimagining the Interior of a Continent    
Susan Naramore Maher
Pathways of the Yellowstone    
Bernard Quetchenbach
The Proximity of Far Away: Climate Change Comes to the Alligator    
Rick Van Noy
What You Take from the Sea    
Mary Swander
Recontinentalizing Europe: Terrestrial Conversion and Symbolic Exchanges at Europe’s Mediterranean Frontier    
Emilio Cocco
Poetry 2: Watershed Ways
With a Hurricane, She Climbs Mountains while She Dreams    
Pam Uschuk
The Mighty Mississippi    
Twyla Hansen
Mississippi Delta Lay Down    
Ann Fisher-Wirth
Brendan Galvin
By the Sea    
David Lloyd
William Logan
River Dolphins    
Michael S. Begnal
Sruth Fada Con    
Barry Johnston
Wanting Choughs    
Tony Curtis
Double View of the Adirondacks as Reflected over Lake Champlain from Waterfront
Major Jackson
Alice Azure
Part 3. Planetary Currents
The Lariat and the GPS: Cowboys, Cattle Ranching, and Global Agricultural Practices    
Nancy S. Cook
Life on the Western Edge of It All: Conceptions of Place in Tess Gallagher’s Lough Arrow Poems    
Drucilla Wall
Return to Finland, Robert Creeley, Continental Drift    
Eamonn Wall
Excerpts from COSMOGRAPHY: Re-Minding Our Place in the Universe    
Joel Weishaus    
Poetry 3: Planetary Currents
Asking Why    
Marge Saiser
The Dark Sky Reserve    
Heid E. Erdrich
Ornithological Perspectives    
Walter Bargen
Spiritus Mundi    
Greg Delanty
Aliki Barnstone
Killer Butterfly    
Walter Bargen
When the Body    
Linda Hogan
What I Keep    
Linda Hogan
War Memorial    
Katherine Soniat
Daniel Tobin
All Hallows’ Eve, County Mayo    
Joan McBreen
As the Diamond    
Tess Gallagher
The Burden of Theology    
Kelly Cherry
A Line from Dogen    
Walter Bargen

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