Poets for Living Waters is a poetry forum begun in 2010 as a response to the Gulf Oil Disaster of April 20, 2010, one of the most profound man-made ecological catastrophes in history. The initial project included hundreds of poetry and poetics publications, and a series of international reading events. You can read more about the initial endeavor in “Poets Acts on Oil Spill” by Shell Fischer at the Poets & Writers website.
While devastating, we recognize that the extreme event of the Gulf Oil Disaster may be best understood as merely a partial manifestation of a widespread consciousness producing global ecological crisis. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that in response to the contemporary situation, we refrain from appeals to effective argument but rather stir affective compassion: “We should not talk in terms of what they should do, what they should not do, for the sake of the future. We should talk to them in such a way that touches their hearts…” Poets for Living Waters contributes to this latter conversation, motivated by the belief that poetry helps release us from moral platitudes, returns us to our bodies, returns us to our senses.
We are currently accepting submissions written in response to prompts published in Big Energy Poets: Ecopoetry Thinks Climate Change. Please see the Call for Work page for more information.
Editors: Amy King and Heidi Lynn Staples
Of I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press), John Ashbery describes Amy King’s poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.” Safe was one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011. King teaches English & Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She also joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rachel Carson and Pearl Buck as the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the WNBA Award (Women’s National Book Association).
Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of four published poetry collections, Guess Can Gallop (New Issues, 2004) and Dog Girl (Ahsahta, 2007) Noise Event (Ahsahta, 2013), and the forthcoming A*A*AA*A. Her poems are published widely in numerous journals including Best American Poetry 2004, Caketrain, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, Ploughshares, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama.