Isotopic Poetics: The Petrocultural Appropriations of Lesley Battler’s Endangered Hydrocarbons


  • Max Karpinski University of Alberta



Lesley Battler’s Endangered Hydrocarbons (2015) broadens the scope of what might be considered a politicized ecopoetics. Battler’s collection, which I suggest works through a poetics of appropriation, links experimental poetic form with Anthropocene criticism in the humanities and critical studies of settler colonialism, addressing the contiguities between ecological degradation and land expropriation, while also making the appropriation of language one of its central formal concerns. In the context of the Canadian nation-state and its extractive economies, I argue that Battler’s “isotopic poetics” appears as a politically motivated formal praxis for working through the tangled exigencies of ongoing settler-colonial dispossession and the accelerating environmental crisis.

Author Biography

Max Karpinski, University of Alberta

Max Karpinski is an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, where he researches the intersection of experimental poetics, environmental humanities, and critical studies of settler colonialism. His work has appeared in venues such as Canadian Literature, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, and Studies in Canadian Literature.


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How to Cite

Karpinski, M. (2022). Isotopic Poetics: The Petrocultural Appropriations of Lesley Battler’s Endangered Hydrocarbons. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 13(1), 107–128.