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Conjunctions is now reading for the Fall 2019 issue; the table of contents here is in progress and will be updated as the collection develops.
To be mindful of the planet we call home is to be aware that our natural world is suffering. Its oceans are rising up, as if in protest. Its populations of birds and fish, of mammals and reptiles, are, many of them, in steep and steady decline. Droughts and wildfires counterpoint, in increasing intensity, hurricanes, flooding, and landslides. Glaciers and polar caps are dissolving before our eyes. Forests, coral reefs, habitats of every sort of life form, from tree frogs to butterfly fish, from elephants to bees, are profoundly afflicted. It is hardly an extremist point of view to see that our planet and all of its denizens—not just humans, who represent a small percentage of living beings, but all flora and fauna—are in mortal jeopardy.
Once, a poet of a different generation wrote, “Progress is a comfortable disease . . . A world of made / is not a world of born—pity poor flesh / and trees, poor stars and stones,” and went on to propose, darkly and no doubt wryly, “listen: there’s a hell / of a good universe next door; let’s go.” And yet, as e. e. cummings well knew, we really don’t have that option, notwithstanding a future colony on Mars.
This special issue of Conjunctions, Earth Elegies, gathers writings that examine and lament the plight of our planet, while also celebrating its grand sublimity, its peerless beauty, its interconnected intricacies, and, quite simply, its indispensability.
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