Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-0-7391-8662-6 • Hardback • December 2013 • $126.00 • (£97.00)
978-1-4985-5043-7 • Paperback • November 2016 • $54.99 • (£42.00)
978-0-7391-8663-3 • eBook • December 2013 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Aaron M. Moe has a doctorate degree in literary studies from Washington State University.
Part 1: Foundations
Prelude: The Coat of a Horse
1 Zoopoetics: An Introduction
Interlude: Mimic Octopi
2 Walt Whitman & the Origin of Poetry
3 “Whose poem is this?”: E. E. Cummings’ Zoopoetics
Part 2: Implications
Interlude: Beluga Whales
4 “learning my steps”: Zoopoetics and Mass
Extinction in W. S. Merwin’s Poetry
5 The Zoopoetics of a Multispecies Polis: Brenda
Hillman’s Practical Water
About the Author
The critical study of ecopoetics demands innovative methodological approaches to reading and thinking about the relationship between poetry, form, and ecology. Moe's book models precisely this type of approach, by bringing critical animal studies to the study of poetry and poetics in a rigorous and sustained way. In this sense, Zoopoetics is an important and timely contribution to a developing field.
— ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
The virtuosity and knowingness of this reading does justice to persistent demands within ecocriticism for rejuvenated critical attention to the natural world. . . .Moe’s . . . wide-ranging interest in animal behavior is showcased in the interludes between chapters, brief vignettes that recount engaged encounters between humans and other animals. Ultimately, if there’s a critical imperative hidden in Zoopoetics, it’s the insistence that we allow poetry and animal bodies to overlay one another in translucent palimpsests of meaning—we can’t read poems without reading animals first. . . .[This] book will best suit those interested in the pleasures and possibilities of reading poetry.
[This is a] wonderfully instructive and challenging book. . . .Moe is an erudite and adept scholar of poetry and the poetic tradition. . . .Zoopoetics ought to attract the interest of literary scholars, poets, and avid readers of poetry alike. . . .Moe’s extraordinarily exquisite attentiveness to the textual dynamics of the poetry of Whitman, Cummings, Merwin, and Hillman—and, by imaginative implication, the extra-human world, particularly the lives of animals—is exemplary and timely.
Zoopoetics is an original, lucid examination of how animals shape the human art of poetry. Drawing upon the foundational work of such scholars as Paul Shepard, Donna Haraway, and David Abram, Aaron Moe uses the Derridian concept of ‘zoopoetics’ to deepen our understanding of language and our understanding of what animals mean to humans. Without other species, we might be essentially voiceless. This is a significant study of ‘animality,’ one of the central paradigms in the field of ecocriticism.
— Scott Slovic, University of Idaho
Aaron Moe’s Zoopoetics lucidly demonstrates that poetry is a shared space in which human and other animals may ‘stretch toward’ each other, a space in which many of our best poets in English attend to nonhuman poiesis. This is a timely and important contribution to ecocriticism and animal studies.
— Helena Feder, author of Ecocriticism and the Idea of Culture