Ecotone: A Poetry Sampler
Ecotone: noun, coined from “ecology” and the Greek tonos, meaning tension.
The inspiration for this grouping of poems around the theme of an “ecotone” came from Marc Harshman’s poem “With No Questions.” As the speaker in the poem watches grazing deer, they startle and retreat. The deer settle “inside some pocket of quiet below me. / We are all listening, each to the other, / waiting for the next move in the universe.” We admired how this poem brought together two ecologies in tension with each other. We saw that theme again and again in other poems we read and placed them together in the same habitat below. We wanted to celebrate how writers embrace the “edge effect”—or how we inhabit both sides of a place in conflict with itself. We think it’s a larger theme for life in Appalachia in general—a universal theme—that provides a home for the poets gathered here. Click the poets below to enter these ecotones, what poet William Wright calls a “magic . . . / twisting up bright and green.”
- Marianne Worthington, poetry editor