vol. 5 No. 1 June 2021

Eco-graphy and the Performative Long Poem: C. S. Giscombe's Giscome Road and Nikky Finney's Rice
Author:James McCorkle    Time:2021-09-22    Click:

Eco-graphy and the Performative Long Poem: C. S. Giscombe’s Giscome Road and Nikky Finney’s Rice

James McCorkle

Page 043-052

Abstract: C. S. Giscombe’s Giscombe Road and Nikky Finney’s Rice are arguably book-length poems that construct an environmental consciousness through the lens of Black identity. Of importance in each is the use of material culture—maps, encyclopedia entries, schematic illustrations, and photographs—to construct the texts. Finney’s work tends to use photographs as supplements to her work, that is as illustrations which are intended to humanize against the grain of anti-Blackness; however, the materials in Giscombe’s collection are parts of a whole, not supplements, but quoted texts albeit utilizing a different visual modality. While there is a distinction between their use of material culture, Finney and Giscombe nonetheless create ecographies— autobiographies that situate and map oneself in a history of ecologies.

Keywords: Giscombe, Finney, ecology, autobiography, ekphrasis, diaspora

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