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Time to Be Something Other than Human
On Attention, Transformation, and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy
Kate Schapira


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Time to Be Something Other Than Human reads Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy and other texts, including Kate Schapira’s own Climate Anxiety Counseling project, in order to unravel, recombine and transform the things we think we know and have to be. The time to be something other than human is a time when the systems we’re part of are changing us and being changed by us. Dwelling closely with language and lichen, with horror and love, this essay feels its way through the loss of what we know and toward, if not yet into, something new.
 
AN EXCERPT FROM EP 98
 
“It’s possible that we can’t imagine it, the world after the world—that we can only imagine what we would do if we were here. But we are here, at the moment. What will our actions be in the next moment? In what ways will they matter, if they can’t matter in a human way forever?”
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
KATE SCHAPIRA is the author of six full-length books of poetry, most recently FILL: A Collection (Trembling Pillow), a collaboration with Erika Howsare. She lives in Providence, RI, where she writes, teaches, co-runs the Publicly Complex Reading Series, and periodically offers Climate Anxiety Counseling.


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Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.