Tarn Painter-MacArthur: “Ecopoetry: Navigating the Lyric Moment”

Tarn MacArthur’s poems have recently appeared in The New RepublicThe New StatesmanThe Poetry Review, and Poetry London. He currently teaches at the University of St Andrews where he was previously a George Buchanan Scholar researching eco-philosophy and ecopoetry.

He is the recipient of grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fund, and was the Walter and Nancy Kidd Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. He is an editor on the academic journal, Green Letters, and book reviewer for the Los Angeles Review of Books and Poetry London.

Tarn will discuss ecopoetry and then talk about the different ways that poetry and prose navigate the lyric moment, specifically through the stoppage of time and the breaking of linear narration. This is what Kathryn’s students know as “dilating the moment from the personal to the universal.”

The lyric moment allows the poet or writer to expand and compress temporalities and bring a tension between the perspectives of the speaker/narrator and the reader, often by hinting at further meanings, narrative potentialities, and characterisations, without ever fully divulging them. Sometimes this can be achieved through simple shifts between narration and description, other times it arises through rhetorical repetition or the breaking of linguistic patterns.