Imminent Domains: Reckoning with the Anthropocene invites readers to join a contemplation of survival—our own, and that of the elements that surround us. Using research, lyric prose, and first-hand experiences, Alessandra Naccarato addresses fundamental questions about our modern relationship to nature amidst depictions of landscapes undergoing dramatic transformation.
We trace the veins of harm, memory and meaning amongst ecosystems and bioregions; through history and across continents, from the mines of Cerro Rico to the ruins of Pompeii. Arranged by five central elements of survival—earth, fire, water, air and spirit—these essays refute linearity, just as nature does.
Naccarato offers not blanket answers about our future, but rather myriad ways to find our own, individual response to an imminent question. We are being called to work together; to dig a trench deep and wide enough that the fires around us might stay at bay. How do we turn towards the fire?
Praise for Imminent Domains:
“Thoroughly researched and superbly crafted, Alessandra Naccarato’s Imminent Domains offers us something even more precious than information, or a call-to-arms. It offers recognition, friendship, and the possibility of arriving—across the distance and loneliness introduced by a mounting sense of isolation, loss, and collective despair—a true connection. As a result, it also offers hope. Not as a quick-fix—a way to gloss over or ignore either the (ongoing) violences of the past or the very real challenges that face us now—but instead as an authentic mode of perceiving and activating within personal experience, doubt, and grief a broader sense of kinship.” —Johanna Skibsrud, author of The Nothing That Is: Essays on Art, Literature and Being
“A book so unique it feels like a genre unto itself—an inquest, a love letter, a dirge, an electrifying epic, a timely tincture, a heart-stopping memoir of stones. Alessandra Naccarato takes us across geographical, emotional, and communal domains to the heat points of ecological survival and love. There is gorgeous LIFE in these interlacing essays, which refuse to accept life’s brutal and casual devaluation in the name of extractive settler-colonialism. Imminent Domains is a beautiful feat of artistry and truth-saying.” —Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life
“I would say Naccarato leads us into terrains of complex, contradictory, and intensely entangled curiosity, devastation, rebirth, reckoning, and wonder in these essays—but she does not lead, instead she seeks to take us by the hand—to walk, crawl, writhe, swim, sit, burrow, dissolve into our constituent parts right alongside us. To sing and be heard, to find the song in silence, is this meditation. To hover in making and unmaking amidst the reverberations the material world makes itself into, and what we, as diverse permutations of humans, make of this world. There is great vulnerability here and also the most potent learning for how to reckon with the simultaneous truths of love and damage. Naccarato holds on, and does not let go, even where the pain is deepest.” —Angélique Lalonde, author of Glorious Frazzled Beings
Alessandra Naccarato is a writer and poet born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto). The recipient of the 2015 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize, her poetry and essays have appeared widely in publications such as The New Quarterly, Room Magazine, and Event. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a graduate degree in Community Economic Development from Concordia University, supporting two decades of work and research in grassroots social change, community arts, and the prevention of gender-based violence. As a spoken word artist, she has toured nationally and internationally, collaborating with award-winning artists and musicians. Her debut poetry collection, Re-Origin of Species, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and named a Best Book of 2019 by CBC Books.