Tag Archive for: wildness

Wildness, to the celebrated writer-activist Jay Griffiths, is elemental: “pure freedom, pure passion, pure hunger. It is its own manifesto.” Triggered by a debilitating depression, her seven-year odyssey in search of the meaning and nature of wildness takes her through from the Peruvian Amazon to west Papua via the Canadian Arctic, the Indonesian Ocean and the Australian outback.

Moving through the elements of earth, ice, water, fire and air, Griffiths encounters communities and wildlife habitats devastated by environmental destruction, patriarchy, extractivism and colonial injustice, which lace her pantheistic hymn to wildness with a deep sense of urgency.


Read more of our Climate Classics: timeless works exploring themes of climate change and biodiversity loss.

What is still wild in us – and is it recoverable? We do not live in a time when we can afford denial.

The poems in Wilder, Jemma Borg’s second collection, are acts of excavation into the deeper and more elusive aspects of our mental and physical lives. Whether revisiting Dante’s forest of the suicides, experiencing the saturation of new motherhood or engaging in a boundary-dissolving encounter with a psychedelic cactus, these meticulous and sensuous poems demonstrate a restless intelligence, seeking out what we are losing and inviting us to ‘break ourselves each against the beauty of the other’. They call on us to remember ourselves as the animals we are, in connection with the complex web of life in what Mary Midgley called an ‘extended sympathy’, and to consider wildness as a process of becoming, reforming and growth. We do not live in a time when we can afford denial. Instead, by being willing to enter despair, might we find what Gary Snyder described as ‘the real world to which we belong’ and recover the means to save what we are destroying?


In Passerine, Kirsten Luckins’ epistolary poems distill the daily process of grieving, healing, remembering, through nature’s wild and atomic industry. Reading this collection is like pressing your ear to the ground to hear the orchestra of the world: alive with buzzing hum and beating wing; death, all the while, lurking on the doorstep. The language is lush, tack-sharp and playful, capturing both the contradictions of being in and of the world, and the rare honesty of a true and fierce friendship. It’s this friendship that binds the collection: a golden thread of sunlight.