Cyree Jarelle Johnson's poetry collection depicts visions of the global climate crisis through the prism of the country's incarceration machine, looking at the atmospheric chaos of a dystopian future inside the social maelstrom of the prison-industrial complex. Focusing on the iconic real-life nightmare of a dissaster on New York City's Rikers Island jail complex, the work encapsulates the contemporary politics surrounding the facility today, and marks the first stage of an ongoing work-in-progress.
An excerpt of The Last Leaving
Before the leaving, there is the staying, there are days of in-betweens, sheltered in the arms of our mother’s mothers.
There are the days the water creeps closer and closer, teasing, like a dog lapping its tongue against our worn work boots.
An excerpt of “Freezing Moon” (working title)
Wisconsin may be the land of dairy and beer and football, where you can drive for uninterrupted miles through corn rows and farmhouses and pickups hitched to fishing boats, but when you reach the Menominee tribe, the trees put a stop to all that. They form the literal border of the reservation, but also a border of ideas, between the Menominee way of life and the American way that’s as tangible and dramatic as the forest itself.
At the People’s Climate March in late April, tens of thousands of activists flooded the streets of the nation’s capital to tell the government that another world is possible. Their rallying cry was climate justice—a concept that links the values of a fair economy, equitable distribution of earth’s resources, and respect for the sanctity of nature as it ties into our essential human rights.
The communities on the outskirts of Fresno are hard to find on any standard map. But if you look beyond the city limits, you see strong communities blooming amid hardship.
In order to have a voice, though, they need to be able to breathe.
David Suzuki, a noted Canadian scientist and environmental activist, has the privilege of being able to look back and forward on life. He’s lived plenty of it, and at 80, he can look back with a sense wizened humility and continuity that tends to accompany a well-lived life. But over the decades he’s earned the authority to speak out on issues of power and politics with the urgency that tends to accompany the values of a grandparent.