Indigenous Anthropocenes in Poetry

Re-mapping Creek Homelands in Jennifer Elise Foerster’s Bright Raft in the Afterweather

  • Kasey Jones-Matrona University of Oklahoma

Abstract

Muscogee (Creek) poet Jennifer Elise Foerster’s poetry begins to answer a call for a cultural climate change. Foerster released her second collection of poetry Bright Raft in the Afterweather in 2018. She blends time, weaving past, present, and future (in no particular order) to convey a catastrophic future mirrored by difficult, but resilient Creek pasts and presents. In this collection, Foerster also amplifies an Indigenous-specific notion of the Anthropocene. I argue that by recognizing Indigenous scientific literacies that include both human and nonhuman agency, Foerster utilizes this moment of the Anthropocene to re-map Creek lands, histories, and futures. Further, I recognize Foerster’s Anthropocene poetics as a symbiocene, a balance between human and nonhuman, and a poetics that seeks to heal, not just express and promote survival. This also brings healing to Creek peoples since colonial Anthropocene narratives largely ignore the devastating impacts that the settler-created Anthropocene brought for Indigenous peoples since first contact.

Author Biography

Kasey Jones-Matrona, University of Oklahoma

Kasey Jones-Matrona is a settler scholar and Lecturer at the University of Oklahoma with a joint appointment in Environmental Studies and Geography and Environmental Sustainability. She got her Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies (English) from the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on Black and Indigenous Anthropocenes, Indigenous futurisms, Indigenous feminisms, Afrofuturism, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), environmental humanities, and climate literature. 

Published
2021-11-17
How to Cite
Jones-Matrona, K. (2021). Indigenous Anthropocenes in Poetry. Transmotion, 7(2), 27-53. https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.981