Dark Mountain: Issue 17 (PDF)


The Spring 2019 is a collection of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and artwork built around the theme of restoration and renewal.


This is a PDF download of Dark Mountain: Issue 17

Our seventeenth issue is built around the theme of restoration and renewal.

At the dawn of the 2020s we sense a change of chapter. After a decade of broken environmental and climatic records, after a year and a half of Extinction Rebellion protests and school strikes, after the worst bushfires in Australian history devastated over 170,000 km2 of land and killed an estimated billion animals, after the ‘insect apocalypse’ and the endemic microplastics and the die-off of the Great Barrier Reef, there are signs that the full dismal horror of our environmental situation is beginning to penetrate the public consciousness.

Since this book went to press, a pandemic has swept across  the world, shaking the global economy and clearing skies of pollution and cities and highways of traffic. The absence of ‘business as usual’ has revealed what happens when the merry-go-round of industrial progress stops and people encounter the existential territory Dark Mountain has been charting since our first issue came out in 2009.

In this new collection we continue to hold open a space for stories that speak to the reality of being human in these strange times, for art and writing that helps us mourn for all that is being lost, to listen to the quiet voices of particular places. But we also explore new aspects of our global predicament, foregrounding fresh ideas, images and insights that might provide us with the hope that arises once the grieving has been honoured.

That might answer the book’s core questions: How can we live? What can be saved? What beauty and life might yet grow from the fallen trunk of this civilisation?

In these pages, you will hear of how rivers can be helped to run again and hearts helped to heal; landscapes rewilded and broken bowls mended. You can witness the regenerative power in an abused piece of ex-industrial ground and the resilience of the human spirit in times of flood, war or sickness; testimonies from Iraqi marshes, Munich parks, Canadian forests and Japanese dormitories; and tales of rebellious communities, revivifying storms and rejuvenated pigs. You can follow the peregrinations of ancient peoples as they sought refuge and revelation, and to take an astronomical perspective on our small world’s happenings. 

Restoration has its roots in humbleness, in the ability to attend to the reality of these times; so that we might see opportunity within the grim crises that are unfolding; to find useful work to be done in service of life and truth; to tend the much-abused garden of our world back towards health and wholeness, alert to the realisation that what we had dismissed as weeds were actually the first shoots of new growth.


Writers in the field: Jemma Borg, Jennifer Case, Cate Chapman, Jelle Cauwengberghs, Mike Cipra, Caleb Cohen, Sylvie Decaux, Alex Diggins, Paul Feather, Tim Fox, Peter Friederici, Alex Friedrich, Siana Fitzjohn, Neale Inglenook,  Monika Kostera, Michael Leung, Rob Lewis, Jane Lovell, Robert McGahey, Matt Miles, Mari Fallet Mosand, Eric Nicholson, Samuel Osborn, Mat Osmond,  Kathleen Palti, Nina Pick, Kerry Priest, Sam Robinson, Christy Rogers, Lucy Ann Smethurst, Kollibri Terre Sonnenblume, Robert Lee Thornton, Charlotte Watson, Sam Robinson, Lori Michelle Wells, Will Wlizlo.

Artists in action: Chris Booth, Jane Cipra, Miles Glyn, Susan Jowsey, Emily Joy, Anna Mayo, Richard Metz, Sarah Misselbrook, Mari Fallet Mosand, Caroline Ross, Meridel Rubenstein, Jordan Tierney, Kate Walters, Kate Williamson, Julie Williams.

Dark Mountain: Issue 17 was edited by Cate Chapman (poetry), Neale Inglenook, Eric Robertson and Steve Wheeler. Art and production: Charlotte Du Cann

Cover: ‘Violet Storm’ by Kate Williamson

Dark Mountain: Issue 17 is a hardback book, 243 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 978-0-9955402-8-6