2021, 112 pages
deposition | dispossession: Climate Change in the Sundarbans, the posthumously published work by Marthe Reed, responds to the ecological crises of the Sundarbans of south Bangladesh and India. The work “talks back” to climate denialism, questioning Reed’s own and the United States’ role in climate change and its collateral damage. Interrogative, defiant, elegiac, the writing speaks to a realm in crisis—the fragility of a landscape, its human and other-than-human inhabitants, and the Sundarbans islands and archipelagos rapidly being swallowed by rising sea levels. Under such pressures, how do the inhabitants—and we who live elsewhere on the earth—respond? Reed does so by adopting a poetic method and collage technique that draws on a diverse set of resources. The completed book-length poem fuses together personal anecdotes and collected notes ranging in origin from scientific publications, the IPCC Synthesis Report, research on native plant and animal species, to discussions of cultural figures of the region, addresses to ethics and climate change boards, and literary texts such as The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, Travels In The Mugal Empire by François Bernier, and Schizophrene by Bhanu Kapil.
deposition | dispossession includes an introduction by Angela Hume.
Marthe Reed authored seven books of poetry: deposition | dispossession: Climate Change in the Sundarbans (Kelsey Street Press, 2021), Ark Hive (The Operating System, 2018), Nights Reading (Lavender Ink, 2014), Pleth (Unlikely Books, 2013) with j hastian, (em)bodied bliss (Moria Books, 2013), Gaze (Black Radish Books, 2010), and Tender Box, AWunderkammer (Lavender Ink, 2007). She also co-edited, with Linda Russo, Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing in the Anthropocene, an anthology of essays and poetry, from Wesleyan University Press (2018).
Reed received a BA from the University of California, San Diego; an MFA from Brown University; and a PhD from the University of Western Australia. She was an assistant professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette before becoming a humanities faculty fellow at Syracuse University in New York. She was also the co-publisher and managing editor of Black Radish Books. She died on April 10, 2018.