Abstract

Abstract:

Coming to prominence in the 1930s as part of the Santa Fe and Taos literary scene, the New Mexico poet Peggy Pond Church published a number of collections and was included in Alice Corbin Henderson’s influential modernist anthology The Turquoise Trail (1928). More recently, Church has been considered a regionalist or environmentalist poet. Yet, a close analysis of her work reveals that her representations of the landscape and nature are more ambiguous than a surface reading of her project might suggest. Indeed, some of her most compelling early poems foreground a dissociating fear that makes her embrace of the land a complicated proposition. Utilizing the lenses of Timothy Morton’s dark ecology and Stacy Alaimo’s material ecofeminism, this essay argues that Church’s poetry registers a struggle to overcome the Cartesian divide between the human and natural worlds that prefigures and sheds light on contemporary ecocritical discussions about literature and the environment.

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