The Eco-grief Issue
Our hills bear their wounds brazenly—the fragile flesh opened carelessly by extractive human industry. Mutilated, extinction is now surging at a rate unseen to human eyes. We cry with the hills—we beg for mercy. We scramble in interrogative and exclamatory psychosis as though we have emerged from a lover’s quarrel: “Where have you gone? Why have we abandoned you? Can we correct this?” We flee our sorrow, but no wish, no delusion, no plea will change the current ecological reality. We choose now to gaze dispassionately into the grim reality: the Holocene is dead.
Expanding on the previous issue, Hillbilly Ecologies After the Apocalypse, we now explore the grief that follows. There is a long tradition of grief in this region, with canonical images of freight train whistles, lonesome songs, wandering widows, the blackest crows, and rank strangers. Many traditional ballads appeal to natural imagery to express grief. In this issue, we grieve once again—for nature itself.