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And regret is that the bird is gone,
Because we didn’t love enough?
Or because the angle of the sphere is out of our control

~ from 'Loss' by Bruce Pascoe

Extinction Elegies is a series of trans-national poetic commissions that spotlight species at risk or recently extinct.

In collaboration with Durham Centre for Cultural Ecologies (Durham University) and Cairns Institute (James Cook University), Red Room Poetry has commissioned six celebrated Australian poets to create and record new elegies that reflect on losses and endangerment of Australian species.

Extinction Elegies aims to remind us of how human life is implicated in the life of others. As countless species disappear due to global environmental change, we edge closer to the next ‘great extinction’: the sixth in our planet's history. At an academic level, Extinction Elegies seeks to take the elegy—traditionally limited to seriously reflecting on loss within the realm of human experience—and transform it through lyric attention to the more-than-human world. 

By giving voice to losses of the non-human world, Extinction Elegies encourages awareness, attention and action through poetry. Linked public readings, radio broadcasts and learning resources encourage action and awareness at hyperlocal levels. 


EcoArts Australis - Conference 
28 May 2019
University of Wollongong, Innovation Campus

Extinction Elegies: An Evening of Poetry, Music and Ecology
28 October 2018 
Durham Centre for Poetics

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