Near-Earth Object

Near-Earth Object, a collection of poems with a foreword by Jenny Odell, will be published by Unbound Edition Press in April, 2024.  

In this book I explore the interactions, sometimes dark and sometimes joyful, between humans and the non-human natural world. Resisting the human exceptionalism that in its many forms can block imaginative access to the world, I entertain the perspectives of a host of others: a cricket, a bat, a nuthatch, a carnival bear, a tree’s shade, cherubim, an asteroid, and Earth herself.

I take up difficult and painful topics such as global meltdown and animal abuse, without ever giving up either pleasure or hope. Here, I practice what I like to call a poetics of impurity. I am wary of absolutes, and attempt to make the best of things in the messy world of the relative, the partial, the gradual, and the mixed.

John Shoptaw
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