“the answer, as well as a technique” A Reflection on Editorial, Creative, and Critical Labor

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Matthew Griffiths


This article explores the way that the practices of copy-editing technical journals, composing poetry, and ecocritical research can complement one another, drawing on individual professional, creative, and academic experience. It reports on an exercise devised to generate material for a poem by collating edits from technical copy, and works through this to compose a piece based on the UK government’s 2018 environment plan. Critical reflections are then offered on the resultant text and the value of the process, with some proposals for further application.


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II. Creative-Critical Case Studies
Author Biography

Matthew Griffiths, Writer, critic, educator

Matthew Griffiths is a writer, critic, and educator. His poetry collection Natural Economy was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2016 and pamphlet How to be Late in 2013, and more recent work has appeared in The Dark Horse, ecozon@, Magma,Poetry Scotland, and Tentacular. Meanwhile his monograph The New Poetics of Climate Change appeared with Bloomsbury in 2017, and he has contributed to journals such as Green Letters, symplokē, and the International Journal of James Bond Studies as well as the volume Climate and American Literature in the Cambridge Themes in American Literature and Culture series. He has worked as a copy-editor on B2B magazines and technical journals for the energy, waste, and built environment sectors over more than two decades.