AVAILABLE AUGUST 2018
Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard takes the reader from the endangered Canadian boreal forest to the environmentally threatened Svalbard archipelago off the coast of Norway, connecting continents and tracing the impacts of climate change on northern lands. With a feminist gaze, Jenna Butler questions explorer narratives and the mythic draw of the polar North. As a woman who cannot have children, she writes out the internal friction of travelling in Svalbard during the fertile height of the Arctic summer. Blending travelogue and poetic meditation on place, Magnetic North will draw readers’ minds to the beauty and power of landscapes under threat, and ask them why some stories in recorded history are privileged at the expense of those left to speak from beneath the surface.
Jenna Butler is an author and scholar whose research into endangered environments has taken her from America’s Deep South to Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, and from Tenerife to the Arctic Circle, exploring the ways in which we navigate the landscapes we call home.
Butler is the author of three critically acclaimed books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, Wells, and Aphelion. Her award-winning collection of ecological essays is A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge the of Grizzly Trail, and her environmental travelogue, Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard, was released by the University of Alberta Press in Autumn 2018. Butler’s latest work is the essay collection Revery: A Year of Bees, forthcoming in 2020 from Wolsak and Wynn.
A professor of creative writing and ecocriticism at Red Deer College, Butler lives with three resident moose and a den of coyotes on an off-grid organic farm in Alberta’s North Country.