Dr. Di Brandt

Research Involves

Developing interdisciplinary multimedia approaches to ecopoetic thinking and creative writing that will address contemporary environmental issues in vital, imaginative ways.

Research Relevance

The research is expanding the influence of poetry as an important form of research and mode of creative and critical thinking, and developing an ecopoetic “post-postmodern” intellectual and artistic paradigm.

Post-postmodern Ecopoetry and Poetry

The greatest problem facing us in the 21st century, according to Canadian poet Dr. Brandt, is despair. As we head toward shrinking energy supplies, increased territorial violence, and eco-crisis, we are suffering a failure of imagination. The language best suited to help us confront the formidable intellectual, psychic, emotional, and spiritual challenges of our time is that of poetry, because poetry has the capacity to transform our thinking and engage us in a multidimensional way that is emotional, energetic, and erotic.

This is why Di Brandt is using her Canada Research Chair in Literature and Creative Writing to develop a theoretical and practical model for contemporary ecopoetry and poetics. She is doing this through a series of works in poetry, creative non-fiction, and multimedia. Her model is strongly connected to contemporary “post-postmodern” poetic practices as well as to environmental issues, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary discourses, and multimedia.

Post-postmodern ecopoetry and poetics, as Brandt sees it, involve the exploration of “reparative thinking” as a corrective to the typically bipolar thinking of the 20th century, which separated rationalist materialism from subjective modes of thinking and feeling. Reparative thinking is relational and therapeutic in intent; it allows for surprise and it enables extravagant gestures of reversal and transformation, gestures that are simultaneously revisionary and conservationist.

Brandt’s work is post-postmodern ecopoetry and poetics represent a powerful attempt to bring the visionary, transformative, imaginative energy of poetry into mainstream thinking and it has the potential to play a major role in helping the rest of us imagine a viable future in an age of eco-crisis.