Wray | Queering the Nature Poem

Tobias Wray

Given all the assumptions we tend to bring to biology, a consideration of the queerness in nature has drawn the attention of many poets. From Bruce Snider’s recent work, such as “After Reading the Wikipedia Entry on Homosexual Behavior in Moths” to Natalie Diaz’s gorgeous river verse in Postcolonial Love Poem, which as a collection argues for rethinking and decolonizing our relationships to nature, gender and desire prove dynamic scripts. Diaz writes: “A river is a body of water. It has a foot, an elbow, a mouth. It runs. It lies in a bed. It can make you good. It has a head. It remembers everything.” This eagerness on nature’s part to persist and the certainty the universe seems to have about impermanence is a profound dialogue to explore, particularly as we consider the stakes of identity in our own work. Together, we’ll explore the possibility of form as what takes shape between pressures (like crystal-forming molecules attempting to lattice their way to stability). Together, we’ll consider more contemporary poems that explore this terrain and walk away with a few considered drafts of your own.