Dark Mountain: Issue 21

Nick is the author of three books about walking and Europe, the most recent of which is Outlandish, a work of gonzo ornithology, The Parakeeting of London, and a collection of short fiction, Loss Soup and Other Stories. He works as an editor and co-director for the Dark Mountain Project, and has contributed short stories and essays to many of its issues. Red Smoking Mirror is his debut novel.


Our Spring 2022 issue is an anthology of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and artwork that revolves around the theme of confluence


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Our twenty-first issue revolves around the theme of confluence.

The image of watersmeet, of two streams merging into one, has long had sacred connotations, as shown by the votive offerings left at the point where rivers meet. This book goes beyond watery metaphor to explore confluence in its complexity: both life-affirming and death-bringing, nourishing and troubling, creative and destructive. Increasingly, the times we live in feel like a confluence of catastrophes: climate, ecological, political, cultural and existential. ‘Collapse’, as poet Sophie Strand notes, ‘is when things that shouldn’t be connected merge.’ The climate disaster unfolding around us is itself a convergence between the breakdown of ancient organic matter and modern industrial ambition, technology, greed and carelessness, a calamitous meeting of worlds. 

In the white noise of this chaotic merging, as disparate channels flow into each other and catastrophes impend, do we try to find solid ground, to hold fast in the roiling current that threatens to carry us away? Do we attempt to dam the tide? Or do we look to the words of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus – panta rhea, ‘everything flows’ – as we try to navigate down the unknown river?

From modern-day lycanthropy tales – inter-species minglings between human and animal – to the melting, freezing waters of the Antarctic Convergence; from intergenerational trauma to the disastrous coming-together of nuclear meltdown; from the collapsing ‘Doomsday Glacier’ to swirling microbial ecosystems deep within the human body; the contributions of the 60 writers and artists in this book join to make new patterns in this meeting of the waters.


Dark Mountain: Issue 21 is a collaboration with saltfront, the environmental humanities journal founded in Salt Lake City, Utah by Eric Robertson and Michael McLane. Inspired by Dark Mountain’s early work, saltfront is dedicated to a radically new type of ecological storytelling, with a focus on human habit(at).


Writers: Ellery Bakker, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Russ Bickerstaff, Nathanael Bonnell, Cayte Bosler, Charlotte Du Cann, Tim Fox, Alexander Fredman, Helene Grøn, Hannah Hindely, Nick Hunt, Stephanie Krzywonos, Anthea Lawson, Nancy Lord, Sarah Jane Moloney, Kate Moore, Steven Morgan, Ceda Parkinson, Tonia Peckover, Ian Peisner, John Rember, Eric Robertson, Minna Salami, Wren Schulte, Laura Seldner, Conrad Shumaker, Vita Sleigh, Jane Smith, Sophie Strand, Wanda Taylor, Sylvia Torti, Graeme Walker

Poets: Jeffery Beam, Sharon Black, Adam Gianforcaro, Finn Haunch, Joel Long, Michael McLane, Paul Rankin, Kim Trainor, Jonathan Travelstead, Christopher Watson

Artists: Oliver Raymond Barker, Gustaf Broms, Fatemeh Burnes, Peter Cameron, Esther May Campbell, Justin Carter, Blake Donner, David Ellingsen, Kathryn John, Sarah Misselbrook, Anika Nixdorf, Ava Osbiston, Veera Kaamos Pitkanen, Christy Rupp, Noah Alexander Isaac Stein, Jordan Tierney, John Weeden, Graeme Walker

Editors: Nick Hunt, Anthea Lawson, Eric Robertson. Poetry: Michael McLane.  Art: Ava Osbiston. Production: Nick Hunt.

Cover: ‘Meander’ by Cecily Eno

Dark Mountain: Issue 21 is a hardback book, 264 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 978-1-8384160-2-7

Additional information

Weight .578 kg
Dimensions 24 × 16 × 2.5 cm