Fossil explores the impact of human activity on climate change though a post-colonial lens and from the perspective of all life on earth including plants, creatures, elements and inanimate objects.
“The poems in Fossil have been waiting millions of years to be born. Maya Chowdhry’s language erupts out of deep time, vital and vivid. This is powerful work.” Robert Minhinnick
Maya Chowdhry
ISBN number
Country setting
United Kingdom
Publication date
10 Oct 2016

Fossil explores planet earth as she experiences anthropogenic climate change, it examines the impacts of climate chaos and the resultant implications of climate justice for the human species. The collection takes its subject seriously through a playful testing of language.

Voices of plants, trees, fossils, rocks, bodies of water and creatures speak about the human impacts on the climate of our planet. Interspersed with these poems are poems exploring some of the reasons that the earth is being exploited for capital by humans and what this means for all life on earth. Birds, insects and other plants comment on how humans are enslaving them for their gain.

The false selling of constellations, what scientists might be releasing when they core into the ice caps and a war over a glacier are all topics for this collection that interrogates the scientific, transmuting the language through the feathers of an albatross, the sap of a Spider Orchid, a Banksia dentata seed bursting into life.

“When Maya Chowdhry told me she’d been commissioned to make a chapbook about climate change, I got so excited. This is an artist who sees in the round. The connectedness of everything from race, geographies, gender, nature, beauty, oppression, love, subtlety, politics and anger. The climate movement in the global north is all too dominated by white people who all too often sideline the vital and effective insights of people of colour living here who have it all connected up, effortlessly, like breathing.”

Jane Trowell 

“With astonishing ease, Maya Chowdhry's poems move beyond the human perspective. They change scale, space, and vision: from orchid seeds in razor dust to an albatross whose elegance challenges aircraft; in history and across time - a simple carrot shows itself in the purple, orange and yellow avatars of its heritage, through Pakistan, Persia, Scotland. The language of these poems is unbearably beautiful and would be so for the sake of its sounds, even to a listener who did not understand it. It is also intelligent, equally at ease with the language of science and the deceptive, descriptive simplicity of riddles. A sense of our species' ecocidal foolishness and bleak future is balanced by the sheer, wicked and vivid life of every form: natural life forms and poetic experiments. in this book. One to read many times, and which will continue to grow through the floor of everyday assumptions like an invasion of dandelions breaking up a fort.”

Vahni Capildeo 

The poems in Fossil have been waiting millions of years to be born. Maya Chowdhry’s language erupts out of deep time, vital and vivid. This is powerful work.

Robert Minhinnick 


Maya Chowdhry

A poet, transmedia writer and activist, Maya’s previous poetry collection is The Seamstress and the Global Garment. She’s also published in many anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe) and magazines such as Ambit. She’s won many accolades for her work, including the Cardiff International Poetry Competition.Tales from the Towpath, commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival, was shortlisted for the 2014 New Media Writing Prize.
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