Berkeley English Faculty

John Shoptaw

John Shoptaw

Continuing Lecturer

Wheeler Hall, room 476
on leave, 2023

Professional Statement

For the past several years I've been writing and teaching ecopoetry and ecopoetics.  In the spring of 2024 I'll be teaching a research seminar on Emily Dickinson.

Keats:  "The poetry of earth is never dead."

Near-Earth Object
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 na....(read more)

Times Beach
Times Beach

“Times Beach is, like most interesting American books, an original. It’s about a place, the watershed of the Mississippi River, and it is an ecopoetics. Best, perhaps, to think of it as a hybrid of Hart Crane, the depression photographs of Dorothea ....(read more)

On the Outside Looking Out:  John Ashbery's Poetry
On the Outside Looking Out: John Ashbery's Poetry

A study of Ashbery's books of poems from Some Trees through Flow Chart.....(read more)

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

"Near-Earth Object" Chrysalis podcast discussion of poem (May 2023).

"The Poetry of our Climate" (essay) is forthcoming from American Poetry Review

"Why Ecopoetry?" (essay) Poetry Magazine.

"Near-Earth Object" (with a discussion guide), "Least Concern," "For the Birds" and "The Tree in the Midst" Poetry Magazine.  "The Tree in the Midst" is reprinted in Tree Lines:  21st Century American Poems, eds. Jennifer Barber, Jessica Greenbaum, Fred Marchant (Grayson Books, 2022).  

"Whoa!" (long poem), Arion:  A Journal of Humanities and the Classics (Spring/Summer 2019).  "Whoa!" will be reprinted, along with my essay on Ovid and the poem, in Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Environmental Imagination eds.Giulia Sissa and Francesca Martelli (Bloomsbury Publishing, July 2023).

"A Tree's Shade Speaks of its Shadow" (poem), Kenyon Review (May/June 2019).

"Pangolin Scales" (poem), Republic of Apples, Democracy of Oranges:  New Eco-poetry from China and the United States (Manoa Journal, 2019).

"Round County Almanac" (poem), The Wallace Stevens Journal (Spring 2019).

"Blues Haiku" The New Yorker (2011).

"Ecovaluation" (essay), Evaluations of US Poetry Since 1950, eds. Robert von Hallberg and Robert Faggen (U of New Mexico Press, 2021).  

"Dickinson's Civil War Poetics" The Emily Dickinson Journal (2010).

"Listening to Dickinson" Representations 86 (Spring 2004).

"Lyric Cryptography" Poetics Today 21 (2000).


Current Research

I'm writing a book of essays with chapters on ecopoetics ("Why Ecopoetry?"), climate poetry ("The Poetry of our Climate"), animals, things, and the future.  

I'm also writing a book of environmental and climate poems.

English Department Classes