The Truth is Powerful
Climate change needs poetry, not apathy — so read ‘Habitat Threshold’
Design by Priya Ganji. In his 2020 poetry collection “Habitat Threshold,” Craig Santos Perez wields his poetry as a way to critique climate change and the societal ills — racism, bigotry, capitalism and corporate greed, among others — that contribute to it. He doesn’t shy away from describing scenes that result from climate change, like refugees, rising sea levels and pollution. He confronts his struggles with raising his daughter in an environmentally fraught world and with his own complicity in the systems that contribute to climate change. This book is not for the faint of heart — but neither is contemplating the existential threat of climate change. And just like awareness of the climate crisis is necessary, so too is reading this collection. Poetry won’t remove microplastics from the ocean or reverse the melting of glaciers, but Perez demonstrates that it can make you feel something genuine in a seemingly doomed world.
Perez experiments with form through necropastorals , haikus, sonnets and prose poetry. Perhaps most notably, he employs “ mimic poetry ” (also known as “after poems”), which use the form of a pre-existing poem to create a new work that comments on new topics. Perez draws on well-known […]