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Poetry Nature

A History of the Theories of Rain

by (author) Stephen Collis

Initial publish date
Feb 2021
Nature, Canadian, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
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“Can you walk away from a climate?” Maybe. But “in the future / everyone will have their fifteen minutes of blame.” A History of the Theories of Rain explores the strange effect our current sense of impending doom has on our relation to time, approaching the unfolding climate catastrophe conceptually through its dissolution of the categories of “man-made” and “natural” disasters. How do we go on with our daily lives while a disastrous future impinges upon every moment?

Collis provides no easy answers and offers no simple hope. What his book does instead is probe our current state of anxiety with care, humour, and an unflinching gazing into the darkness we have gathered around ourselves. All the while – in song, in lyrical outbursts, and in philosophical and speculative excursions – it asks what form a resistance to the tenor of these out-of-joint times might take. In doing so, it explores the links between the climate’s “tipping points” and the borders which constrain those who are fleeing the disaster – including the plants, animals, and peoples forcibly displaced by a radically altered world ecology.

About the author

Stephen Collis is an award winning poet, activist, and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (2005), The Commons (2008), On the Material (2010 — awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and the forthcoming To the Barricades (2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (2012), comes out of his activist experiences and is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change. A Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University in 2011/12, Collis has read and lectured across Canada, the United States, and Europe. The Red Album is his first novel.

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