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Ghost Fishing

Thanks to for featuring my review of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology.  A major work by the editor Melissa Tuckey. I try to be honest and by turns sympathetic, challenging, and accessible. It’s kind of impossible. The long-and-short of it is that I find that Tuckey has identified some great poems in this anthology for the capitalocene/plantationocene and taken seriously the job of compiling a plurality of voices. But I left questioning the value of poems staked in romantic aesthetic and ideals in the work of eco-justice.

I started the review while unemployed in early summer 2018 after a move to a new city. The poetics of eco-justice was something I wanted to think through after getting somewhat of a foundation in grad school. Unemployed, I had time. I finished it mid summer just as I was picking up a few news jobs, one of which turned my attention to class and labor. To bring these two worlds together, I’m working on an essay on garbage strikes. But I’m also aware that the eco-social world is changing by leaps and bounds and that my own archive of thinkers on this subject needs to deepen. Feedback on this review is most welcome.


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About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.


  1. Claire Keyes

    Terrific review. I had read the anthology in July and it was good to read your perspective. I”m conducting research on eco-poetry and will be leading a series of community workshops on representative poets. If you have poets you’d like to recommend, I”m interested.
    Thank you for your serious commitment to the environment and to literature.

    • joescirehall

      Hello Claire, Thank you for this kind reply! Tuckey mentions this anthology in her introduction and it’s worth checking out: Camille Dungy’s Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Poetry. Plenty of great poets there. CA Conrad’s book A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon might be interesting in the context of a workshop since Conrad’s poems are also instructions to engage w/and write about the world and self. Ed Roberson, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. In terms of eco-justice, I think it’s important to read the stories and poetry of impacted people, but my archive here is still a work in process. For instance, googling flint water crisis poetry will surface poetry from Flint residents that you won’t run across in anthologies or books. A whole poem in this story: There’s an uncollected world of poetry responding to Standing Rock out there. Been reading the work of Demian DinéYazhi’ this morning, for instance. Would love to hear anything you find or learn about an exercise you do. This is important work.

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