(photo credit: Dr. Joseph R. Spies, Ceaseless Explorer )

  Epigraphs   Terminology
  Outline of Eco-Theoretical "Schools"
  Eco-Links   Eco-Reading List (and "Quotable Quotes")
  Other TCG Pages, etc.   A Word from Our Sponsor
  --An Audio Message from Our "Sponsors"--  

Ecocriticism (n.): "the dialogic intersection of nature, culture, and literature"  --TCG

(Addendum: This "intersection" includes a thoughtful critique of "ecology" and the environmental movement per se. But "stage one"--the call to an "ecological consciousness"--remains the order of the day.)


"Wild elephants broke into a cluster of thatched huts, guzzled rice beer . . . and then tore the village apart in a drunken rampage. . . . At least 100 people have been killed in elephant attacks during the past year in Assam. . . . Human encroachment and a shrinking forest habitat have been the main causes of the problem. . . ."   Associated Press, 22 Oct. 1999

"Nearly seven out of 10 of the biologists polled said they believed a 'mass extinction' [of plants and animals] was underway, and an equal number predicted that up to one-fifth of all living species could disappear within 30 years."  _Washington_Post_, 21 April 1998

"There is a separation that has taken place between us and nature. Something has broken deep in the core of ourselves. . . . The result is a spiritual fragmentation that has accompanied our ecological destruction"  --Linda Hogan

Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.  --Zenrin poem


"Sharpshooters are expected to kill between 180-733 deer. . . . Iowa City hired White Buffalo, Inc., a [company] . . . providing services to control wildlife populations. . . . Bucks, does and fawns will all be pursued during the killing, but does will be targeted because they reproduce. . . . Capturing the deer and relocating them to a less populated area is inhumane. . . ."  --_Daily_Iowan_, 7 Oct. 1999

"[The last Passenger Pigeon] died in the Cincinnati Zoological Park in 1914. It is often asked how it was possible for man to kill them all. . . . They were fond of currants, cranberries, and poke berries. . . . [But] [w]e know little of their food habits, for no scientific investigation of their food was ever made."  --Birds of America, 1917

"If . . . we and the gnat could understand each other, we should learn that even the gnat swims through the air with the same pathos, and feels within itself the flying center of the world."  --Friedrich Nietzsche

A Bird Story from Cyberspace--or: Starling ingenuity!

From the Top

(some) Terminology

ecology: coined by Ernst Haeckel, 1866 (eco- from Late Latin for "household," from Greek for "house," "dwelling")

social ecology: Murray Bookchin, 1962

deep ecology: Arne Naess, 1972

    ecosophy: Arne Naess, 1972

ecofeminism (écoféminisme): Françoise D'Eaubonne, 1972

literary ecology: Joseph W. Meeker, 1972

speciesism: Richard D. Ryder, 1975(?) (popularized by Peter Singer)

bioregion(alism): Raymond Dasmann & Peter Berg, 1977(?)

ecocriticism: William Rueckert, 1978

ecopsychology: Theodore Roszak, 1992

ecological (literary) criticism: Cheryll (Burgess) Glotfelty, 1989; Karl Kroeber, 1994

From the Top

Outline of Eco-theory "Schools"/Types

  • Spiritual/Poetic/Romantic/Tribal eco-thought
  • Deep Ecology
  • Social Ecology
  • Ecofeminism
  • Others: bioregionalism; environmental ethics; ecopsychology . . .


    [UPDATED OUTLINE--for my 2006 LitCrit/Theory class:] ECOCRITICISM Background–"Schools" of ECOLOGY, etc.
    Social Ecology[neo-Marxist]: capitalism's mistreatment of the working class/poor ≈ exploitation of the environment [Murray Bookchin, 1962]
    Deep Ecology[vs. "shallow ecology," mainstream environmentalism]: radical (eco-) or bio-egalitarianism (also: ecocentrism); anti-anthropocentrism (aka homocentrism) [Arne Naess, 1972; D. E. also a major influence on the development of the next two:]
    Ecofeminism–patriarchal oppression of women ≈ exploitation of the environment [Françoise D'Eaubonne, 1972; e.g., Annette Kolodny's The Lay of the Land (1975) and Susan Griffin's Woman and Nature (1978)]
    Spiritual Ecology–intuitive/"feeling"/"spiritual"-based relationship with the land and other species, often based upon New Age beliefs (such as Lovelock's "Gaia") and/or Native American tribal wisdom [e.g., Linda Hogan]
    Ecopsychology–the relationship of human consciousness to the environment (vs. ego-psychology) [e.g., Scott Slovic]
    Environmental Justice–colonialist oppression of the indigenous/3rd world ≈ exploitation of the environment [e.g., Joni Adamson]


    –e.g., Peter Singer (speciesism [Animal Liberation, 1975]), Thomas Regan

    Literary criticism per se

    ECOCRITICISM [coined by William Rueckert, 1978]; ≈ literary ecology [Joseph Meeker, 1972]; ≈ ecological literary criticism [e.g., Cheryll Glotfelty, 1989; Karl Kroeber, 1994]; ≈ environmental criticism [Lawrence Buell, 2005] . . . also: ecopoetics

    Stages of Ecocriticism*

  • I. "Panning" old, canonical "bad ecology" texts (for their depiction of "Nature," including "body," "Indian")
  • II. Championing of (usually more recent) "good ecological" works, and "nature writing" per se
  • III. Development of "theory": Deep Ecology, ecofeminism, etc.

    *adapted from Glotfelty

    From the Top

    Ecological/Ecocritical Links

    Association for the Study of Literature & Environment

         Introduction to Ecocriticism (ASLE)

         Defining Ecocritical Theory and Practice --1994 Western Literature Association Meeting (ASLE)

         ASLE Bibliographies


         Ecology Hall of Fame (Ecotopia)

    Ecological Philosophy (

    Ecofeminist Philosophy (

    ECO BOOKS: The Environmental Bookstore

         ECO BOOKS on Ecological Literature and Criticism

    The Environmental Mailing List Archives (

    The Social Ecology Project (Bookchin, et al.)

    The Institute for Deep Ecology

    Green Psychology/Ecopsychology/Ecological Worldview (

    Romantic Circles: Green Romanticism on the Web

    The Greening of Women's Studies: Bibliographies and Other Resources

    Sierra Club Home Page

    Earth First! The Radical Environmental Journal

    The Orion Society

    EarthLight Magazine

    Black Rose Books by Subject: Ecology

    "Chickadee Alert!!" (Alaska Biological Science Center)

    From the Top

    Reading List--and (more) "Quotable Quotes"

             {My own (brief) commentaries are in dark red; some "cool quotes" are in framed white boxes (frames). . . . More complete bibliographical info on specific texts (and quots.) is available upon request. . . . Finally, the relative emphasis on animal rights and birds--indeed, the emphasis thereon throughout this web page--stems from my Ph.D. dissertation focus, on "avian alterity."}

    Primary Sources/Precursors:

    English Romantics, etc.
  • Cowper, William: e.g., The Task (1785)
  • Burns, Robert: Poems Chiefly in Scottish Dialect (1786)
         I'm truly sorry man's dominion
    Has broken nature's holy union,
    An' justifies that ill opinion
            Which makes thee startle
    At me, thy poor, earth-born companion
            'An fellow mortal!
        --from "To a Mouse"

  • Darwin, Erasmus: e.g., The Loves of Plants (1789):
         Botanical lust revealed! Read about Clandestine Marriages and Feminine Males! See the Linnaean system set to heroic couplets! Wonder at how each plant inspires Darwin into lengthy, irrelevant Homeric-simile asides!

  • White, Gilbert: Natural History . . . of Selborne (1789):
         Journals/letters on the fauna and flora of White's home locale, for which he is the "perfect spy"! Noteworthy are White's comments on the rampant animal cruelty and superstitions of the time, although he shoots more than a few specimens himself, for research, and is bent on proving that swallows and swifts hibernate.

  • Blake, William: e.g., "The Fly" (and other lyrics from Songs of Innocence and of Experience [1789, 1794]); The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793)
    The Complete Poetry and Prose
         Little Fly
    Thy summers play,
    My thoughtless hand
    Has brush'd away.

    Am not I
    A fly like thee?
    Or art not thou
    A man like me?

    For I dance
    And drink & sing;
    Till some blind hand
    Shall brush my wing.

    If thought is life
    And strength & breath;
    And the want
    Of thought is death;

    Then am I
    A happy fly,
    If I live,
    Or if I die.
        --"The Fly"

  • Bewick, Thomas: e.g., A History of British Birds (1804):
         Aside from the "quaint" woodcut illustrations, some of Bewick's textual anthropomorphisms are also precious: hawks and owls are armed for "rapine and destruction"; magpies are "addicted" to "stealing and hoarding"; and a flock of jays sounds like a "distant meeting of disorderly drunken persons." (All that this really tells us is that Bewick's England had lots of human violence, thievery, and drunkenness?!) As for the skylark, although Bewick includes footnotes regarding the _taste_ of several species, he finds it "not a little reproachful to humanity[!]" that these songsters are still being slain by the thousands for food: indeed, "the prodigious numbers that are frequently caught are truly astonishing." . . . A few scans of Bewick's bird etchings can be seen on my Wordsworth's Birds page.

  • Smith, Charlotte: e.g., Beachy Head, with Other Poems (1807); The History of Birds (1807)
         Restrain that rage for power, that bids a Man,
    Himself a worm, desire unbounded rule
    O'er beings like himself: Teach the hard hearts
    Of rulers, that the poorest hind, who dies
    For their unrighteous quarrels, in thy [God's] sight,
    Is equal to the imperious Lord, that leads
    His disciplin'd destroyers to the field.--
        --from The Emigrants (2.424-430)

  • Wordsworth, William: e.g., "Lines written in early Spring," "Tintern Abbey," etc.; Guide to the Lakes (1822)
        --Complete Poetical Works
         TCG's Wordsworth Page         TCG's Wordsworth's Birds

         [--Swan Mother & Cygnets--]

    She in a mother's care, her beauty's pride
    Forgets, unweary'd watching every side,
    She calls them near, and with affection sweet
    Alternately relieves their weary feet;
    Alternately they mount her back, and rest
    Close by her mantling wings' embraces prest.

    Long may ye roam these hermit waves. . . .
        --from An Evening Walk

  • Wordsworth, Dorothy: Journals (1803):
         Dorothy's domestic-chore tedium is broken up by many "Walks" out of doors, and descriptions & reflections that support her self-proclaimed identity as a "real lover of Nature"; highlights include two touching pairs of lovers: the barn swallows outside her window, and occasional moments of her and her "Darling" brother side by side, "deep in Silence and Love," much as Dorothy imagines "her" favorite swallow pair to be.

  • Coleridge, Samuel Taylor: "nature" poems
  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe: "nature" poems
  • Keats, John: "nature" poems
  • Clare, John: bird and animal poems; notebooks and letters:
         Clare's obsession with detailed descriptions of eggs and nests in his many bird poems may not always result in "aesthetic" success, but the combination of naturalist interests with a poetic soul may be unparalleled to this day. And while his related obsession with the security of a mother bed's nest begs for a psychoanalytical treatment, Clare's transcendence of the species, as it were, is, at times, nothing short of amazing (as is his outrage against rampant tree-chopping):

         I feel at times a love and joy
    For every weed and every thing
    A feeling kindred from a boy
    A feeling brought with every spring
        --from "The Flitting"

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    Change cheats the landscape every day
    No tree no bough about it grows
    That from the hatchet can repose
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Spring comes and goes and comes again
    And all is nakedness and fen
        --from "The Fens"

  • Cobbett, William: Rural Rides (1820)
  • Darwin, Charles: e.g., The Voyage of the Beagle (1839):
         See Darwin get seasick! See Darwin embarrass himself with a bola! See Darwin cringe at the sight of those dang "disgusting" vultures! (And cringe yourself when good Charles considers the natives so much "like animals" that they apparently qualify as subjects of "natural history" themselves!)

  • Ruskin, John: Modern Painters (1843-1860)
  • Huxley, Thomas: e.g., Man's Place in Nature (1863):
         After so much evidence for evolution, it's a strange conclusion, this: "[N]o one is more strongly convinced than I am of the vastness of the gulf between civilized man and the brutes; or is more certain that whether from them or not, he is assuredly not of them." Hmmm: this sounds like a disingenuous bone tossed to his Victorian audience still in the ideological clutches of the Great Chain of Being, since these three essays' actual evidence (especially the comparison of human & gorilla skulls) is a pretty much a subversion of such a "gulf."

  • Hardy, Thomas: many animal, bird, and "nature" poems
  • Hopkins, Gerard Manley: Poems (1889)
         O if we but knew what we do
            When we delve or hew--
        Hack and rack the growing green!
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        Where we, even where we mean
                 To mend her we end her. . . .
        --from "Binsey Poplars"

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    What would the world be, once bereft
    Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
    O let them be left, wildness and wet;
    Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
        --from "Inversnaid"

  • Morris, William: e.g., News from Nowhere (1891)
         Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living--a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate--"nature," as people used to call it--as one thing, and mankind as another? It was natural for people thinking in this way, that they should try to make "nature" their slave, since they thought "nature" was something outside them.

  • Salt, Henry S.: Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress (1892)
  • Hudson, William Henry: e.g., Nature in Downland (1900)
    American Romantics, etc.
  • Jefferson, Thomas: Notes on Virginia (1784)
  • Bartram, William: Travels . . . (1791)
  • Wilson, Alexander: American Ornithology (1814)
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo: e.g., "Nature" (1836)
  • Audubon, John James: Birds of America (1838); Ornithological Biography (1839)
  • Thoreau, Henry David: e.g., "Walking"; Walden (1854)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: Thoreau
  • Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass (1855-1892)

    I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
    I stand and look at them long and long.

    They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
    No one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
    Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
        --from Song of Myself, section 32

  • Burroughs, John: e.g., Wake-Robin (1871)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: John Burroughs
  • Muir, John: e.g., The Mountains of California (1894)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: John Muir
        --Sierra Club: John Muir Exhibit
  • Seton, Ernest Thompson: Wild Animals I Have Known (1898)
  • Austin, Mary: e.g., Land of Litle Rain (1902)

    Ecologists and Animal-Rights/"Eco-"Scholars:

  • Baker, Steve: Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation (2001)
  • Bateson, Gregory: e.g., Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972)
  • Berger, John: "Why Look at Animals?" (About Looking, 1980)
  • Bookchin, Murray: e.g., "Ecology and Revolutionary Thought" (1964); Ecology and Freedom (1982):
         --Marx + ecology = "social ecology"

  • Brower, David: Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run (with Steve Chapple) (2000)
  • Carson, Rachel: e.g., The Sea Around Us (1951); Silent Spring (1962)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: Rachel Carson
  • Commoner, Barry: e.g., The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology (1971)
  • D'Eaubonne, Françoise: "The Time for Ecofeminism" (1974):
         --the original ecofeminist manifesto

  • Devall, Bill and Sessions, George: Deep Ecology: Living As If Nature Mattered (1985)
  • Egler, Frank E.: The Plight of the Rightofway Domain : Victim of Vandalism (with Stan R. Foote) (1975)
  • Ehrenfeld, David: The Arrogance of Humanism (1978)
  • Ehrlich, Paul R.: e.g., The Population Bomb (1968)
  • Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne: Extinction : The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species (1981)
  • Ehrlich, Paul R., David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye: The Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds (1988):
         The mini-essays on taxonomy, famous ornithologists, etc., are worth the price of admission themselves.

  • Gibbons, Felton, and Deborah Strom: Neighbors to the Birds: A History of Birdwatching in America (1988)
  • Hughes, Donald J.: American Indian Ecology (1983)
  • Jung, C. G.: The Earth Has a Soul: The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung (Ed. Sabini, 2002)
  • Krutch, Joseph Wood: The Desert Year (1952); The Great Chain of Life (1956)
  • LaChapelle, Dolores: Earth Wisdom (1978)
  • Lovelock, James: Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (1979)
  • Matthiessen, Peter: e.g., Wildlife in America (1959)
  • Merchant, Carolyn: e.g., The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution (1980); Radical Ecology: The Search for a Liveable World (1992)
  • Merchant, Carolyn, ed.: e.g., Ecology (1994)
  • Mowat, Farley: e.g., Never Cry Wolf (1963)
  • Naess, Arne: e.g., "The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement" (1972); "Deep Ecology and Ultimate Premises" (1988)
  • Odum, Eugene: Fundamentals of Ecology (1953)
  • Peterson, Roger Tory: e.g., A Field Guide to the Birds (1934)
        --"'A Most Absorbing Game': Peterson's Field Guide & The New World Bird as Colonized Other" (my essay in Ampersand 11 [e-journal])
  • Regan, Tom: The Case for Animal Rights (1983)
  • Roszak, Theodore: e.g., The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology (1992)
  • Sears, Paul Bigelow: Deserts on the March (1980)
  • Seed, John, Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, & Arne Naess: Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings (1988)
  • Shepard, Paul: e.g., The Others: How Animals Made Us Human (1996):
         Get back--to the Pleistocene! Witness a psychoanalysis of humankind via Pooh Bear and Smokey the Bear! Seriously, a great study of how humans' co-evolution with other species has fashioned our language, culture, and psyche.

  • Shepard, Paul, and Daniel McKinley, eds.: The Subversive Science: Essays toward an Ecology of Man (1969)
  • Singer, Peter: Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals (1975)
        --Animal Liberation (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
  • White, Lynn, Jr.: "The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis" (1967)
  • Wilson, Edward O.: Biophilia (1984); The Diversity of Life (1992)

    Cultural/Literary Ecocritics:

  • Applewhite, James: Seas and Inland Journeys: Landscape and Consciousness from Wordsworth to Roethke (1985)
  • Armbruster, Karla, and Kathleen R. Wallace, eds.: Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism (2001)
  • Bate, Jonathan: e.g., Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition (1991):
         When there have been a few more accidents at nuclear power stations, when there are no more rain forests, and when every wilderness has been ravaged for its mineral resources, then let us say "There is no nature."

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    [Regarding Wordsworth's concluding sonnet on the River Duddon, Bate laments:] but now it is not only water that glides inexorably into the sea off Wordsworth's coast. [And, as for Wordsworth's "There was a Boy" (and opposed to the deconstructive readings thereof):] [L]et us not forget that it is also about a boy alone by a lake at dusk blowing mimic hootings to unseen owls. Which are there to answer him.

  • Branch, Michael: e.g., "Ecocriticism: The Nature of Nature in Literary Theory and Practice" (1994) (Weber Studies)
  • Branch, Michael, Rochelle Johnson, Daniel Patterson, and Scott Slovik, eds.: Reading the Earth: New Directions in the Study of Literature and Environment (1998)
  • Brooks, Paul: Speaking for Nature: How Literary Naturalists from Henry Thoreau to Rachel Carson Have Shaped America (1980)
  • Buell, Lawrence: The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (1995)
         If like Thoreau one imagines animals as neighbors; if like Muir or traditional Native Americans one imagines life-forms as plant people, sun youths, or grandmother spiders, then the killing of flies becomes as objectionable as the killing of humans.

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    Who is more likely to treat other people like machines, a person who has trained herself to feel that plants and animals are fellow beings or a person who looks at them as convenient resources?

  • Buell, Lawrence: The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination (2006)
  • Gare, Arran E.: Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis (1995)
  • Gates, Barbara T.: Kindred Nature: Victorian and Edwardian Women Embrace the Living World (1998)
  • [Glotfelty,] Cheryll Burgess: e.g., "Towards an Ecological Literary Criticism" (1989)
  • Glotfelty, Cheryll, and Harold Fromm, eds.: The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (1996)
        --The Ecocriticism Reader -- Landmarks in Literary Ecology (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
  • Griffin, Susan: e.g., Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her (1978)
  • Howarth, William: e.g., "Some Principles of Ecocriticism" (1996); "Ego or Eco Criticism? Looking for Common Ground" (1998)
         [Though tongue-in-cheek (in its original context), Howarth's description of today's "ecocritic" is still one of the best I've come across. Such a scholar is . . .]

    "a person who judges the merits and faults of writings that depict the effects of culture upon nature, with a view towards celebrating nature, berating its despoilers, and reversing the harm through political action."
        --from "Some Principles of Ecocriticism"

  • Irmscher, Christoph: The Poetics of Natural History, from John Bartram to William James (1999)
  • Kerridge, Richard, and Neil Sammells, eds.: Writing the Environment: Ecocriticism and Literature (1998)
  • Kolodny, Annette: e.g., The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860 (1984)
  • Kroeber, Karl: e.g., "'Home at Grasmere': Ecological Holiness" (1974); Ecological Literary Criticism: Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind (1994)
        --Ecological Literary Criticism -- Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
  • Love, Glen A.: e.g., "Revaluing Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism" (1990)
  • McKusick, James C.: Green Writing: Romanticism and Ecology (2000)
  • Meeker, Joseph W.: e.g., The Comedy of Survival (1972; 1997)
  • Marx, Leo: The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (1964)
  • Murphy, Patrick: e.g., Literature, Nature, and Other: Ecofeminist Critiques (1995)
  • Pratt, Mary Louise: Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (1985)
  • Ritvo, Harriet: The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (1987)
  • Ruekert, William: e.g., "Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism" (1978)
  • Shiva, Vendana: e.g., Staying Alive : Women, Ecology and Development (1989); Biopiracy : The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (1997)
  • Slovic, Scott: e.g., Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing: Henry Thoreau, Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, and Barry Lopez (1992)
  • Stewart, Frank: A Natural History of Nature Writing (1995)
  • Tallmadge, John, and Henry Harrington, eds.: Reading under the Sign of Nature: New Essays in Ecocriticism (2000)
  • Worster, Donald: Nature's Economy: The Roots of Ecology (1977)

    Modern Eco-"Naturalist" Creative Writers:

  • Abbey, Edward: e.g., Desert Solitaire (1968)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: Edward Abbey
        --Abbey's Web
        --Desert Solitaire (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
         [--my text file of intriguing quotations from DESERT SOLITAIRE,
    organized under "thematic" headings--]

  • Berry, Wendell: e.g., The Unsettling of America (1977)
        --The Unsettling of America -- Culture & Agriculture (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
  • Bly, Robert, ed.: News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness (1980):
         Great collection of "animal/nature" poems (despite Bly's Jungian spin), from the German Romantics (in translation) to Snyder, Levertov, et al.

  • Coetzee, J.M.: The Lives of Animals (1999):
         Encounter dang near every "rationalist" and "poetic" argument for and against animal rights still worthy of consideration, in the guise of a rather postmodernist fictional tale. (So don't expect any ready answers from the author, despite his general sympathies.)

  • Dillard, Annie: e.g., Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974); Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982)
        --EarthSaint: Annie Dillard (
  • Eiseley, Loren: e.g., The Immense Journey (1957); The Firmament of Time (1960)
        --The Man from the Sunflower Forest: A Loren Eiseley Reader
        --"The Judgment of the Birds" (great essay from The Immense Journey)
  • Hogan, Linda, Deena Metzger, and Brenda Peterson, eds.: Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals (1998)
  • Huxley, Aldous: Island (1961)
  • Jeffers, Robinson: Selected Poems (1965)
  • Le Guin, Ursula: Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences (1987)
  • Leopold, Aldo: e.g., Sand County Almanac (1949)
        --Ecology Hall of Fame: Leopold
         In Sand County Almanac, a game manager turns poet and witty aphorist: follow the stories the rings of an oak, of black-capped chickadee #65290, and of "atom X" on its biotic journey to the sea; be inducted into the "land ethic," an "extension of the social conscience from people to land."

  • Lopez, Barry: Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape (1986)
  • Merwin, W.S.: many animal, bird, and "nature" poems
  • Oliver, Mary: e.g., American Primitive (1983); Dream Work (1986); House of Light (1990); New And Selected Poems (1992)
        --EarthSaint: Mary Oliver (
  • Sanders, Scott Russell: e.g., "Speaking a Word for Nature" (1991)
  • Snyder, Gary: e.g., Earth House Hold (1969); Turtle Island (1974); The Real Work: Interviews and Talks, 1964-1979 (1980); The Practice of the Wild (1990)
        --The Practice of the Wild (ECO BOOKS: blurb, excerpts)
         The USA slowly lost its mandate
    in the middle and later twentieth century
    it never gave the mountains and rivers,
        trees and animals,
            a vote.
        --from "Tomorrow's Song" (Turtle Island)

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    Behind is a forest that goes to the Arctic
    And a desert that still belongs to the Piute
    And here we must draw
    Our line.
        --from "Front Lines" (Turtle Island)

  • Stegner, Wallace: Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West (1954)
  • Vogt, William: Road to Survival (1948)
  • Stevens, Wallace [hey, he _was_ into _grackles_!]: The Collected Poems (1954)
  • Walker, Alice: "The Universe Responds: Or, How I Learned We Can Have Peace on Earth" (1987)

    Native American Writers (and related ecocriticism):

  • Adamson [Clarke], Joni: e.g., American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism (2001)
  • Allen, Paula Gunn: The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (1986)
  • Barnes, Jim: e.g., The American Book of the Dead (1982); A Season of Loss (1985); La Plata Cantata (1989); The Sawdust War (1992)
  • Black Elk, Nicholas/John G. Neihardt: Black Elk Speaks: : Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1932)
  • Booth, Annie Louise, and Harvey M. Jacobs: Environmental Consciousness—Native American Worldviews and Sustainable Natural Resource Management: An Annotated Bibliography (1988)
  • Bruchac, Joseph: e.g., Near the Mountains (1987); No Borders (1999)
  • Deloria, Vine, Jr.: For This Land: Writings on Religion in America (1998)
  • Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth: e.g., Then Badger Said This (1983)
  • Fire, John [Lame Deer]/Richard Erdoes: Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions (1972)
  • Harjo, Joy: What Moon Drove Me to This? (1979); She Had Some Horses (1983); Secrets from the Center of the World (1987); In Mad Love and War (1990); The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994); The Spiral of Memory: Interviews (1996); A Map to the Next World (2000)
  • Henson, Lance: e.g., Another Song for America (1987); Another Distance (1991); A Cheyenne Sketchbook (1992); Strong Heart Song (1997)
  • Hogan, Linda: Calling Myself Home (1978); Eclipse (1983); Seeing Through the Sun (1985); Red Clay: Poems & Stories (1991); The Book of Medicines (1993); Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World (1995)
  • Hughes, Donald J.: American Indian Ecology (1983)
  • Kenny, Maurice: The Smell of Slaughter (1982); The Mama Poems (1984); Is Summer This Bear (1985); Between Two Rivers (1987); On Second Thought (1995); Backward to Forward: Prose Pieces (1997); In the Time of the Present (2000)
  • Lyons, Oren: "I See No Seat For The Eagles. We Forget And We Consider Ourselves Superior, But We Are After All A Mere Part Of The Creation." (speech; 1977)
  • Momaday, N. Scott: House Made of Dawn (1968); The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969); The Gourd Dancer (1976); The Names: A Memoir (1976); In the Presence of the Sun (1992); The Man Made of Words (1997); In the Bear's House (1999)
  • Niatum, Duane: e.g., Drawings of the Song Animals (1991)
  • Ortiz, Simon: e.g., Going for the Rain (1976); From Sand Creek (1981); Woven Stone (1992); After and Before the Lightning (1994)
  • Revard, Carter: e.g., Ponca War Dancers (1980); An Eagle Nation (1993); Winning the Dust Bowl (2001)
  • Rice, Julian: e.g., "How the Bird that Speaks Lakota Earned a Name" (1987)
  • Rose, Wendy: e.g., The Halfbreed Chronicles and Other Poems (1985); Bone Dance (1994)
  • Silko, Leslie Marmon: Laguna Woman (1974); Ceremony (1977); Storyteller (1981); Almanac of the Dead (1991); Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit (1996)
         Almanac of the Dead: Main characters in Silko's revolution include the Spirit Macaws and the Great Stone Snake; occasional digs at Deep Ecology are also provocative.

  • Standing Bear, Luther: My People, the Sioux (1928); Land of the Spotted Eagle (1933)
  • Tyler, Hamilton A.: e.g., Pueblo Birds and Myths (1979)
  • Vizenor, Gerald: e.g., "Crows Written on the Poplars: Autocritical Autobiographies" (1987); "Literary Animals," in Fugitive Poses (1998):
         Vizenor's redefinition of/distinction between the "authentic" metaphor and "inauthentic" simile may be one of the best avenues for an ecocritical approach to alter-speciality in literature. (Cool, too, is his reading of Momaday as a veritable "bear"!)

  • Welch, James: Riding the Earthboy 40 (1971)
  • Wilson, Norma C.: The Nature of Native American Poetry (2000)
  • Young Bear, Ray A.: Winter of the Salamander (1980); The Invisible Magician (1990)


    Cool "Eco"-Sci-Fi:

  • Ray Bradbury: "There Will Come Soft Rains" (from The Martian Chronicles, 1950)
  • Piers Anthony: "In the Barn" (in Again, Dangerous Visions, ed. Ellison, 1972):
         An unforgettably haunting parable of species exploitation, with a hell of a surprise ending.
  • Planet of the Apes (the movie: 1967):
         Seems quaint now, perhaps, but it was a shock for this boy when he first saw such an imaginative portayal of Darwinianism at work on the big screen.


    Cool "Eco"-Tunes: (and so I date--and gender--and genre--myself!)

  • The Doors:
        --"Ship of Fools"
        --"When the Music's Over"
  • Blue Öyster Cult:
        --"Perfect Water"
         History shows again and again
    How Nature points out the folly of man . . . Godzilla!

  • REO Speedwagon:
        --"Ridin' the Storm Out"
  • Talking Heads:
        --"Once in a Lifetime"
  • Tom Waits:
        --"Earth Died Screaming"
  • The Bloodhound Gang:
        --"Bad Touch" (okay, so it's perversely bio- [or mammo-]centric)
         You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals
    So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel

    --and not to forget my favorite early-childhood . . .


  • Bubo, the Great Horned Owl (John and Jean Craighead George, 1954)--and yu' thought Charlotte's Web made me cry!...


  • The Legend of Lobo (Disney, 1962)--as admittedly anthropocentric/-morphic as it is!

    From the Top

    Brought to you by . . .
    E qual
    R ights for
    O ther
    S pecies

    From the Top

    From the Top

    Suggestions & Corrections?

    --MORE STUFF--

  • "Ecocriticism as an Imagining of the Post-Human" (my Ph.D. Review Essay)

  • "'A Most Absorbing Game': Peterson's Field Guide & The New World Bird as Colonized Other" (my essay in Ampersand 11 [e-journal])

  • Quick Index to Other TCG Pages ... including ...


    TCG's Ecocriticism Page
    First Created: 1/14/00
    Last Revised: 4/17/07