Cover art by Guy Denning
• July 12, 2017 "Editor's Pick" at Newpages.com
• 2018 Montaigne Medal Finalist sponsored by Eric Hoffer Awards ("awarded to the most thought-provoking books")
Hawk on Wire is a record of ecological disaster caused by global heating, and informed prophecy of what will happen unless humanity changes from coal and tar sands oil to renewable energy in the next five years from 2017 to 2022. The book acknowledges widespread complicity of those in developed nations focusing “only [on] the language of hunger, sex, territory” and imagines “How We Stopped Corporate Psychopaths From Cooking Planet Earth.” These poems reach into the vulnerable area of the human psyche Franz Kafka wrote about: “The dream reveals the reality, which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life – the terror of art.” Starbuck blends history, climate science updates, personal activism, and poetic imagination to paint that “reality” currently affecting island nations, millions of current climate refugees, and vanishing ecological community we share in land, sea, and sky. The book includes a series of imagined ghosts speaking about climate change (Mark Twain, Socrates, Ed Abbey, Mother Teresa, Galileo, Bukowski, T’ao Ch’ien, Rilke, Orwell, and Martha, the last passenger pigeon who died 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo: “The hum of steel rails was the song //foretelling my death and yours, / my captivity and your insincerity instead of / no trains, no tracks, no cages”).
About the Author:
Scott T. Starbuck wrote most of these poems at a 2016 PLAYA Art, Science, and Community Collaboration in the Oregon Outback. He was a Friends of William Stafford Scholar at the "Speak Truth to Power" Fellowship of Reconciliation Seabeck Conference in 2014, a 2013 Artsmith Fellow on Orcas Island, and writer-in-residence at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. His scientifically-informed poetry focuses on the clash between ancient sustaining forces like wild salmon rivers and modern industry and industrial livelihood. His climate change activism includes calling TV/news stations on behalf of San Diego area tribes in solidarity with water protectors near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, reading to over 500 climate activists at a December 12, 2016, Rally for Climate Justice in San Diego’s Balboa Park, serving on the coordinating committee of the Road Through Paris action at San Diego350.org , volunteer editing and writing at SanDiego350.org , moderating climate change film showings /workshops at his college, attending nonviolent protests, and updating his ecoblog Trees, Fish, and Dreams. With Antarctic CO2 at 400 parts per million for the first time in 4 million years, threat of a huge Arctic methane release, and melting glaciers bringing inevitable sea level rise predicted to affect hundreds of millions of humans, he agrees with activists and creatives insisting nonviolent actions are vital now. Starbuck currently lives near Vancouver, Washington, and in San Diego, where he teaches creative writing, world literature, and English.
Scott’s climate ecoblog
Review by Vivian Hansen in The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada