James Perrin Warren

James Perrin Warren

Warren, James Perrin



           James Perrin Warren CV.pdf

 Prof. Warren has taught American literature and environmental studies at Washington and Lee University for over thirty years. His scholarship has depended especially on archival research and dwelt upon interdisciplinary subjects. He is the author of three monographs on nineteenth-century American culture, focusing on writers like Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Douglass, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Theodore Roosevelt. Recently he has published a scholarly edition of Mary Austin’s collected poems, The Road to the Spring (Syracuse UP, 2014). Other Country: Barry Lopez and the Community of Artists is his fifth book, due out in Fall 2015.

 Prof. Warren received his MA and PhD from Yale University.

Main Works

Other Country: Barry Lopez and the Community of Artists (Forthcoming, 2015)

The Road to the Spring: Mary Austin’s Collected Poems (2014)

John Burroughs and the Place of Nature (2006)

Culture of Eloquence: Oratory and Reform in Antebellum America (1999)

Walt Whitman’s Language Experiment (1990)

Selected Articles on Ecocriticism

Digging into Place (2011)

Placing Ecocriticism (2010)

John Burroughs’s Writing Retreats (2008)

Near and Far: Burroughs and Muir on the Harriman Alaska Expedition (2005)

Whitman Land: John Burroughs’s Pastoral Criticism (2001)

Contexts for Reading “Song of the Redwood-Tree” (2000)

Organic Language Theory in the American Renaissance (1987)




Title: Ekphrasis and the Community of Artists

Abstract: The practice of ecphrastic poetry has a long tradition, and in contemporary environmental literature it often expands beyond the definition of “a vivid description of a work of art.” In addition to that fundamental definition, ecphrastic writing can create a dynamic relationship between different art forms, and in doing so it can work to create a new community of artists who support one another’s work and collaborate with each other in artistic projects.

      Gary Snyder’s ecopoetry is committed to ideas of community and to searching for ways to form and reform our relationship to the natural world. His essays and addresses are more direct interventions into the “real work” of forming new communities. Turtle Island can stand as an exemplary instance of Snyder’s ecphrastic commitments to the community of artists.

      In a more extended example, I want to present the work of Barry Lopez as a career in creating a community of artists. The essay “Learning to See” puts Lopez’s work in direct relation to the landscape photographs of Robert Adams. From this basis, we can learn to see how Lopez’s fiction and nonfiction engages in a host of collaborative projects with visual artists like Linda Connor, Alan Magee, and Rick Bartow. Lopez’s community of artists expands to include relationships with, among many others, ceramicist Richard Rowland, earth artist Richard Long, and composer John Luther Adams.  

      Finally, Snyder and Lopez are most alike in combining contemplation and action to figure the role of the artist in the larger Earth community.

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