Occasionally we add prose and poetry that creatively circumvent issues of the environment. In an Eco-fiction stage at the 2016 Word Vancouver, Mr. Collis read with others whose works call for at least thought, if not action, on some aspect of an environmental crisis.
What happens when a poetry professor gets mixed up in pipeline politics? He gets sued for $5.6 million and then pens a book inspired by the 2014 protests on Burnaby Mountain. SFU professor Stephen Collis was one of the Burnaby Mountain Five, a group of pipeline opponents named in Kinder Morgan’s multimillion-dollar civil suit. The oil company brought the case forward to secure a court injunction against protesters in the fall of 2014.
In this collection of long and serial poems, Stephen Collis returns to the commons, and to his ongoing argument with romantic poet William Wordsworth, to rethink the relationship between human beings and the natural world in the Anthropocene Era. Collis circumambulates Tar Sands tailings ponds and English lakes – and stands in the path of pipelines, where on Burnaby Mountain in 2014 he was sued for $5.6 million by energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers glossed Collis’s writing in court by noting that “underneath the poetry is a description of how the barricade was constructed.” Called by Eden Robinson “the most dangerous poet in Canada,” in Once in Blockadia Collis is in search of how we can continue to resist – as we only begin to understand the extent of our complicity and the depths of the predicament we are in.
4.2 rating based on 22 ratings (all editions)