Green creative writing: what do you think?

Anthony Haynes writes: Earlier this week we were pleased to post about the work of the Juliet Wilson, aka the Crafty Green Poet. My conversation with Juliet in Edinburgh recently prompts a question, which runs as follows.

  • There is considerable interest now in the related areas of nature writing, environmental writing, green writing, and eco writing.
  • And there’s a great deal of such writing going on. Indeed, with writers such as Kathleen Jamie (whose Findings I’ve recently much enjoyed reading), Richard Mabey, and Robert Macfarlane, one might say we live in a golden age for the genre(s).
  • This has, at least to some extent, been reflected in publishing in literary studies (with books such Jonathan Bates’s The song of the earth, for example).
  • But what about publishing in the area of creative writing studies? There seems a dearth of books on the subject for writers.

My question, then, is: Is this something we should be doing with our imprint — i.e., producing publications about creative writing in the area(s) of nature, environmental, green, eco writing?

If you’d care to think aloud on this question — and related questions of interest, such as what might be needed or which extant resources you’d recommend — we’d certainly read them with interest.

 

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About Anthony Haynes

Director, Frontinus Ltd Communications Associate, FJWilson Talent Services

6 comments

  1. You may wish to check out the following: ‘A Place on Earth,’ an anthology of nature writing from Australia and North America, edited by Mark Tredinnick and published by University of Nebraska Press and University of New South Wales Press.
    Drop in on my blog, Nature as Art and Inspiration http://marymageau.wordpress.com

  2. Thanks – I have just looked at your blog. Publishing a book about creative writing research/teaching/study/writing in this area is difficult because of the question of which terms to use – nature/green/eco/environmental. Would welcome your thoughts…

  3. This is an interesting question, Anthony. I am studying the MA in Wild Writing: Literature and the Environment at Essex University. We have our own blog: wildeasters.wordpress.com, which may be of interest to you. There is an extensive booklist (if you look at the menu bar and click on ‘The Canon’). I am not aware of the existence of an actual creative writing handbook in this area – the closest thing I can think of is ‘The Green Studies Reader: from Romanticism to Ecocriticism’, ed Laurence Coupe, published by Routledge. I have also been recommended ‘The Cambridge Guide to Environmental Literature’, which I haven’t actually had a chance to look for yet. I think the question of terminology is something that such a handbook would need to tackle, because the different terms do come from different theoretical backgrounds. But if you think such an idea might fly, there’s people I know who may well be interested in contributing to it.

  4. Apologies, just checked the above blog and the booklist is not quite as extensive as I remembered – it is a work in progress. However, it gives a general idea. Obvious additions off the top of my head would be the journals Earthlines and Green Letters.

  5. Thank you for both comments, Elaine. I’ve just visited Wildeasters (and am now following it). In the end, we decided not to pursue this idea. One of the reasons was that, though we could fine some stuff about literature (that is, within literary studies / criticism), we couldn’t really find enough evidence of a market within the field of creative writing.

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