We sat in the Harley Gallery getting to know each other as he started telling me about his creative process. He had read an article in The New York Times about gas emissions, and it had infuriated him. He immediately reached out to his close friend Dwain, who ended up being a co-editor of this new book. They had previously worked together on an anti-fracking collection, and Dwain was excited to collaborate again. After they talked, they sent out a call for submissions, asking for poetry pieces about the horrible climate crisis. They received more than 300 submissions, which they slowly went through.
When Mr. White told me about all of these submissions, I was stunned and asked how he managed to go over all of them in full detail. He said that he used a yes/no/maybe system. He and his co-editors created a spreadsheet and one-by-one marked each with a yes, no, or maybe.If it was a maybe, they all got on Zoom call and discussed which way it should go. Then they continued with the process.
After collecting all of his submissions, he was excited to try to release the book on Earth Day of 2020, but due to COVID this was not possible. The book was finally released on December 14, 2020.
The book is handmade, with a picture of the famous mural showing environmental activist Greta Thunberg sinking into the ocean on the cover. I think the black hand-tied string binding really brings out the uniqueness of the book.
Mr. White hopes that this book brings awareness to the climate crisis in a fun and poetic way that starts (and furthers) conversations about change. I enjoyed speaking to Mr. White, and everyone should go check out his new poetry anthology, Civilization in Crisis.
To order: https://www.wafflepoetry.com