Dark Mountain: Issue 2 (PDF)

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.


The Summer 2011 issue is our second collection of uncivilised essays, fiction, poetry and artwork.


This is a PDF download of Dark Mountain: Issue 2.

Published in June 2011, the second Dark Mountain book reflects on what it means to face the end of things we have taken for granted. Does the experience of loss on a human scale help us make sense of the ecological grief which confronts us, as we face the loss of species and languages, of ways of being in the world?

Among the stories, essays, poems, images and conversations which make up this collection, Naomi Klein visits the Gulf of Mexico, a year on from Deepwater Horizon; David Abram talks about wonder, boundaries and living with loss; Vinay Gupta writes about the Indian tradition of the “kapilika” or “bearers of the skull”; Paul Kingsnorth reflects on the experience of living with suicide. There’s also the final interview with the late Glyn Hughes, a fine poet and a friend of Dark Mountain from its earliest days, who faces the reality of his own death with stoicism and peace of mind.

These encounters with mortality sit alongside explorations of language, history, love and place. Luanne Armstrong writes about farming in rural Canada and Charles Hugh Smith gives a self-described hick’s perspective on the fantasies of “survivalists”. Wilfried Hou Je Bek discusses the history of ape-human language experiments, while Venkatesh Rao speculates on “the return of the barbarian” and Warren Draper revisits the Luddite rebellion, two hundred years on. Darren Allen invites us to fall in love, Catherine Lupton wonders around with words, and Tom Keyes offers a recipe for Black Isle Pheasant Stew.

There are extracts from Jay Griffiths’ forthcoming novel about the life of Frida Kahlo, Melanie Challenger’s book on extinction, and Antonio Dias’ novel ‘Something for Nothing’, as well as new short stories from Nick Hunt, William Haas and Simon Lys.

There’s also new poetry from Albert Pierce Bales, Antony Lioi, Em Strang, Joel Moore, Mario Petrucci, Adrienne Odasso, Robert Walker, Benjamin Morris, Stephen Wheeler, Andrea Dulberger, Heathcote Williams, Gerry Loose and Paul Kingsnorth.

Despite the theme of loss, this is not a book which is headed into despair. It ends with an essay from Dougald Hine, ‘Remember the Future?’, which offers a Dark Mountain attitude to how we meet the unknown with hope.