The land is contoured in a way that breeds sound: it sloughs from the bird cliffs, heaves over the water in a rich, fetid roll.
From the endangered Canadian boreal forest to the environmentally threatened Svalbard archipelago off the coast of Norway, Jenna Butler takes us on a sea voyage that connects continents and traces the impacts of climate change on northern lands. With a feminist gaze, she 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.
Originally from England, Jenna Butler is a poet, professor, essayist, and organic farmer from northern Alberta, Canada. Her most recent books include Seldom Seen Road, Wells, Aphelion, and an award-winning collection of ecological essays, A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail.