The Premier Writing Organization On
California's Central Coast
Welcome to SLO NightWriters


SLO NightWriters General Meeting

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Critique Group Round Table, 5:15 pm

Presentation, 6:30 pm

Click HERE to join the Zoom meeting

Forrest Gander

Is There a Relationship Between Poetry and Ecology?

As globalization draws us together and industrialization and human population pressures take their toll on natural habitats, as species of plants and animals flicker and are snuffed from the earth, it may be worthwhile to ask whether an ethnocentric view of human beings as a species independent from others underpins our exploitation of natural resources and sets into motion dire consequences. 

What we have perpetrated on our environment has certainly affected a poet’s means and material. But can poetry be ecological? Can it display or be invested with values that acknowledge the economy of interrelationship between human and non-human realms?  Aside from issues of theme and reference, how might syntax, line break, or the shape of the poem on the page express an ecological ethics? If our perceptual experience is mostly palimpsestic or endlessly juxtaposed and fragmented; if events rarely have discreet beginnings or endings but only layers, duration, and transitions; if natural processes are already altered by and responsive to human observation, how does poetry register the complex interdependency that draws us into a dialogue with the world?

Forrest will also talk about his experience as an editor of the poetry series at University of California Press and of Lost Roads Publishers, and to delve into literary subjects of interest to members.


Forrest Gander, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and taught at Harvard and Brown Universities. Awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Be With and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Whiting and United Artists foundations, Gander has most recently published Twice Alive, a book focused on human and non-human intimacies. Gander translates books by poets from Spain, Latin America, and Japan. He lives in California.

Find out more about Forrest Gander at:


Round Tables Critique Sessions begin at 5:15 pm

Terry Sanville will be here to critique your work

To have your work critiqued, send your submission to Terry Sanville at by the Saturday before the meeting. Then log in to the meeting a few minutes before 5:15 pm.

Please keep your submission to two pages, typed, 12-point font, double spaced. This is a great—and safe—way to see what the critiquing process is all about, to get valuable feedback from an established writer, and to practice reading your work to a small audience

This is an opportunity to get feedback on your work in progress and practice your constructive critiquing skills. It is also a great way to get to know other writers in our group.

Visitors are welcome; you do not have to provide a submission to participate. 

I hope to see you there.

Steven Mintz, PhD

Program Director SLO NightWriters.

Professor Emeritus

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

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