Steve Mentz, "Sailing without Ahab: Ecopoetic Travels" (Fordham UP, 2024)


When I decided to try my hand at interviewing authors for the New Books Network, one of my dream guests was Steve Mentz. Steve’s work in the environmental humanities marries a rigorous archival work, pathbreaking close readings, and a fluent and innovative approach to scholarly writing. I think he’s charted a course for early modern ecocriticism that has been both impressive and energizing.

Steve Mentz is a Professor of English at St. John’s University. He has produced numerous books that have shaped the emerging field of the blue humanities, including Shipwreck Modernity; At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean; the Bloomsbury Objects entry Ocean; and the recent An Introduction to the Blue Humanities. He has published a chapbook of poetry, Swim Poems. His Bookfish blog is also a wonderful index for scholarly and creative work happening right now. Today, I am excited to discuss his most recent book of blue poetry, Sailing Without Ahab, just published by Fordham University Press in 2024.

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John Yargo

John Yargo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. He has published in Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies.

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