Publisher Marketing: Black Pastoral explores the complex duality of Black peoples' past and present relationship with nature. It surveys the ways in which our histories (both Black histories and natural/ecological histories), our suffering and our thriving, are forever wound around one another. They are painful at times and act as a salve at others. Ariana Benson's poems meditate upon the violence and tenderness that simultaneously characterize the entangling of the two, taking the form of a series of ecopoetic musings that re-envision these confluences.
Moreover, Benson's poems illustrate the beauty inherent to Blackness, to nature, to the remarkable relationship they share, while also refusing its permission to collect idly, like an opaque skein of film obscuring uglier, necessary truths. Black Pastoral seeks to be both love letter and elegy, both flame to raze the field and flood to nourish the land anew.