We are pleased to announce the launch of Terrain.org's 34th issue: Elemental. Issue 34 -- Fall 2013 -- includes a wonderful mix of literature, including the winners and finalists of our 4th Annual Contests in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction. With a guest editorial by Priscilla Long, an interview with earth scientist Fred Swanson, poetry by a dozen leading poets (including our first video poems), searing nonfiction and fiction, outstanding photography, and well-traveled columns, you'll want to dive right in.
Dorine Jennette Reviews Corpse Whale, Poems by dg nanouk okpik Have you ever noticed how many poetry collections labeled experimental or daring or innovative by their jacket blurbers are anything but? Here’s good news for you: surprises abound in Corpse Whale, the new collection by dg nanouk okpik. An Alaskan Native of Inupiat-Inuit descent, okpik sets Corpse Whale in Alaska.
Unaccountable Weather, by Kathryn Kirkpatrick : Reviewed by Dorine Jennette Kathryn Kirkpatrick’s Unaccountable Weather links the health of body, land, and spirit in lyric and narrative poems that recount the speaker’s treatment for breast cancer. Some pieces are semi-surreal lyrics, while other poems take the form of monologues from a patient. One strong lyric is “The Garden of Lost Breasts,” in which the breasts “arrive on the backs of herons, / in the pouches of possums.” Once in the garden, the breasts find that “[b]ecause they have often fed others, // the animals refuse to eat them”. In the monologue “Donna Goes Dancing,” the speaker gets carried away on the dance floor and flings the prosthetics from her “Dolly Parton bra” at her surprised but laughing partner. Still other pieces, such as “Called Back,” travel the speaker’s memory to non-cancer-related experiences of violence and oppression. Collectively, pieces treating oppressive episodes bind the collection together, for Kirkpatrick links gender-based and class-based violence against people to violence against landscapes. She then connects habitat destruction to its inevitable consequences for human bodies, steeped as we are in “plastics and pesticides”. Through her persistence in drawing the reader’s attention again and again to interconnectedness and its consequences, Kirkpatrick’s Unaccountable Weather, though not an overtly “political” book, sings a quiet but insistent ecofeminist anthem.