Public Health and Environmental Justice:
A Conversation with Susanne Antonetta and J.D. Ho
The Georgia Review’s 2020 Earth Day celebration convened virtually amid the sense of despair, urgency, and fear that was in the air at that time. A lot has happened since then. Our collective spirit has been lifted by a positive election and increased vaccination availability. But the urgency hasn’t gone away.
One hopeful sign is an apparent national return to a respect for science and knowledge. And that’s why this year’s Earth Day authors are well-suited to address today’s issues. While their work is personal and compassionate, they also write out of a tradition of research and inquiry. And they address issues that are as critical now as they ever were.
Influenced by the history and philosophy of science, an immigrant family narrative, and the personal experience of growing food, J.D. Ho writes about the ways humans both affect and are affected by the landscape. J.D. received an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas in Austin, reviews books for EcoTheo Review, and has essays in The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and other journals.
Susanne Paola Antonetta’s newest book is The Terrible Unlikelihood of Our Being Here. Forthcoming is The Devil’s Castle. She is also the author of Make Me a Mother, Curious Atoms: A History with Physics, Body Toxic, A Mind Apart, Entangled Objects: A Novel in Quantum Parts, and four books of poetry. Awards for her writing include a Pushcart prize, a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, and a Library Journal Best Science book of the year. Her essays and poems have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Orion, The New Republic, and The Georgia Review. She lives in Bellingham, Washington and edits the Bellingham Review.
In this video, J.D. Ho and Susanne Antonetta read excerpts from their essays featured in This Impermanent Earth: Environmental Writing from The Georgia Review before engaging in a Q&A about the essay form, environmental justice, food, and rats among other things with assistant editors Douglas Carlson and Soham Patel.
This Impermanent Earth: Environmental Writing from The Georgia Review
Edited by Douglas Carlson and Soham Patel
Georgia Review Books Series, UGA Press
A collection of important contributions to environmental writing—
from Barry Lopez to Aimee Nezhukumatathil
With its thirty-three essays, This Impermanent Earth charts the course of the American literary response to the twentieth century’s accumulation of environmental deprivations. Arranged chronologically over a span from 1974 to the present, the works have been culled from The Georgia Review, long considered an important venue for nonfiction among literary magazines published in the United States.
The essays range in subject matter from twentieth-century examples of what was then called nature writing, through writing after 2000 that redefines the environment in gradually increasing human terms, to a more inclusive expansion that considers all human surroundings as material for environmental inquiry. Likewise, the approaches range from formal essays to prose works that reflect the movement toward innovation and experimentation. The collection builds as it progresses; later essays grow from earlier ones.
This Impermanent Earth is more than an historical survey of a literary form, however. The Georgia Review’s talented authors and its longtime commitment to the art of editorial practice have produced a collection that is, as one reviewer put it, “incredibly moving, varied, and inspiring.” It is a book that will be as at home in the reading room as in the classroom.