Artful Green Dot

Words & Greeness

Posted in Uncategorized by Audrey Tran on March 5, 2009



This piece from every/day clues us into the ecologically conscious poetry of E.J. McAdams. Specifically, he has been revisiting the subject of urban ecology in his work ever since the New York poet came to the city in the early 90’s.

Essayist, Catherine Owen makes a distinction between nature and environmental poetry now surfacing in a very informative article published in February. In the piece, Owen explains that writings on nature have existed for centuries. Think of the Japanese haikus dating from the 17th Century, or the wave of nature poetry from the Romantics.

Today, however, poets such as McAdams have a slightly different perception of the Earth. Owen describes environmental poetry as expressions that “comprehend the ecological cycles […] and admit to complicity in the destruction of [nature’s] fragile systems.”

I just had an interview with McAdams last month (which will be posted later…much later after some fine tunnings) and I was really taken by the way he became so involved with nature in the first place:

“I would take walks in the park because that’s what I could afford….it was like finding a bag of money, finding this thing that no one told me was here. So many people think of nature as being out there in wilderness, and that became a point of pride that all I knew was nature in the city.”

While there were money factors that made McAdams a frequent park-goer, it was also the Beat poet, Gary Snyder, whose work influenced McAdams to take an interest in learning about the natural world.

Currently, McAdams is writing poetry on the subway as he travels back and forth to the Bronx. By this summer, the Bronx’s Grand Concourse will be turned into The Tree Museum, which will include McAdams’ poetry in the exhibition.



EJ McAdams and the Brown Cup

EJ McAdams at the Brown Cup

2 Responses

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  1. […] conscious art and writing created by New York artists, writers, and activists (E.J. McAdams, who I interviewed in January, will also be apart of the exhibit). Students from P.S. 386, Dreamyard Preparatory, and the Bronx […]

  2. […] from the community of the holy spirit were at the site to give spiritual comfort.  my friend the poet-naturalists e.j. mcadams, then an urban park ranger, spent days in and around the rubble, going into apartments to rescue […]

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