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Abstract

This paper compares two creation narratives from indigenous peoples on either side of the Pacific Ocean, the relationships between which catalyse the theorisation of a transcultural approach to ecological poetics. The comparison of these narratives reveals important, rhizomatic similarities, and also unmistakable regional differences, concerning the origins of language and culture in Yanomami (Venezuela) and MakMak (Australia) communities. Concomitant with the centrality of indigenous thought in this theorisation of ecopoetics is the de­centrality of human-only conceptions of poetics. Accordingly, the paper considers non-semantic forms of poetics such as birdsong in order to de-centre classically Western, humanist conceptions of language and ecology.

Author Biography

Stuart Cooke is a lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at Griffith University. His latest books include George Dyuŋgayan's Bulu Line: a West Kimberley Song Cycle (2014) and Speaking the Earth's Languages: A Theory for Australian-Chilean Postcolonial Poetics (2013). With Peter Minter he coordinates the Transcultural Ecological Poetics Research Network (TERN).

 

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