Last year, World Literature Today posed a question on their blog, “Now we must write as if the planet were dying. What would you say to a planet in a spasm of extinction?” In a special section of the latest issue (May-August 2014), eleven writers share their responses from essays to poetry to booklists. Writers include Kris Saknussemm, Maya Khosla, Niyi Osundare, Wu Ming-yi, Michael Cope, Liu Ka-shiang, Ava Chin, Tom Zoellner, Eduardo Mitre, Pedro Shimose, and Amarsana Ulzytuev. Here is a sample from Cope’s “The Stream”:
How quickly the rain will ceaseand the stream go back to sand,the blooms wither to dustin the wind, the diligent antsbringing in their stores curl upto be blown away, the shadeson the other shore dissolve into light;and how lightly we will cross over,with a single pace, our childrenbeside us or on our backs.
And here’s the opening of Zoellner’s “The Mountain That Eats Men”: “Come see the mountain. It dominates the Bolivian city of Potos