What is Geopoetics?

The purpose of the geopoetics is to understand and conceptualize what it means to exist on this planet. But however meaningful and necessary this task may be, it is currently not possible, because the language we are forced to use in talking about the earth is polluted by an unwarranted reductionist point of view. Our words are imprisoned by anthropocentric semantics and our concepts are hijacked by an obsolete human syntax. This obstructs the goal of the geopoetics and necessitates a more instrumental and political agenda. For this reason, the geopoetics is first and foremost is an emancipatory movement. It is an attempt to help gather and unify a number of already existing emancipatory movements and be a part of the joint collaborative and diversified motion.

The reductionist’s point of view from which we are trying to free ourselves is well known. On this view, the earth is considered to be ours for the taking. She is thought to be a natural resource and source of economic wealth. As this view sustains and purports exploitation and abuse, the degree to which it is ingrained in our language is also exactly what makes the geopoetics political. We need stand our ground and refuse to reduce the earth to anything but a goal in itself.

Conceptually, our point of departure is self-critical. We presuppose that the earth is not what we imagine her to be. We assume that she cannot be captured by the human mind. This means that our poetical efforts are best described in terms of withdrawal. We need to let her go. We know that she is too vast for us to understand. We know that she is incalculably rich – a plethora of beings. A myriad of states. She is all of her inhabitants. She is we. Our goodness and our evil. She is all sentient and insensate beings. All genders and bodies, both living and dead. She is all rivers and mountains, all ghosts and spirits, all plants and animals, all microbes and viruses, their minds, their history, our minds, our history, all memories, everything that has happened on, over and under the surface and all the possibilities and hopes of what has not yet occurred. Not, however, as isolated events, but as integrated parts of a unified whole.

The problem, then, is this: The fatal threats that the earth is now facing are the results of a coward indeterminacy that has allowed us to speak about the earth as an insentient globe and as a heavenly body without life. We cannot continue in this way. We feel it in your bones. We hear it in the wind. We imagine that the earth calls on us to make a change. The geopoetics is an attempt to answer this call.

A First Contribution

To reach this end we are making a book. This book will not contain solutions to even a fraction of all the relevant problems. But it is an attempt to contribute with a first entry in the living and evolving geopoetical canon. As such, this book is also an initial attempt to articulate what currently known needs exist: an attempt to aid the reframing of our relationship with the earth, that is, to identify the most irreducible terms in our earth concept, exposing the most pressing problems therein, analyzing those problems’ underlying causes, offer sound suggestions as to how to handle these various issues, and, at the end, to help realize the conclusive and collective emancipation of all sentient beings. To reach this end we realize that we need to give up all efforts to capture and control what we dealing with. We cannot accept the claim that the earth is something that we can comprehend. For this reason, the geopoetics must also acknowledge and embrace a frank, honest and effective absurdity. A geopoetical examination must try to reach beyond what it can ever hope to accomplish. We must be open to the possibility that what we will find is not what we expect to find. The bottom line is nevertheless the same. We need a shift of mind. Of word. Without it, we can never hope to change the destructive actions of our species.


As a result, the geopoetics is also always in solidarity with – or rather, in an anthropophagic relationship to – all those that are working towards similar goals: the climate activists, the workers, the precarious, the indigenous, the suppressed, the misrepresented, those without papers, those in transience, the non-whites, the misfits, the formerly colonized, the bought, the hidden, the censored and the illegal. We do not believe that there is one answer. Collaboration is the key. The mind work is necessarily diverse. We need to deprogram a widespread monobiotic concept of life and society. The geopoetics is therefore not only a weapon against the status quo, but also a tool for all those willing to withdraw together with us and leave room for the earth to finally rule itself again.

Upcoming Campaign

We are soon launching a Kickstarter campaign to make the book a reality. Send us an email to info@geopoetics.org to get updates. Read more at styxforlag.se/geopoetics