Turtle Island at 50

The name Turtle Island (the old/new name for our continent) is used today by many Native North Americans, Native rights advocates, and environmental activists. The term came into wider usage in the 1970s, especially through Gary Snyder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems under that title. He argues that viewing North America under the name of Turtle Island will help shift conceptions of the continent and promote “reinhabitation,” “bioregional thinking,” and the work of understanding and living on the land with greater awareness of harms that have been done and of choices we must make if we are to dwell more harmoniously with the more-than-human world of which we are but a part. 

For further reading see:

Gary Snyder, “Reinhabitation” Manoa 25/1 (2013 [1976]): 44–48. [link to PDF]

L. Edwin Folsom, “Gary Snyder’s Descent to Turtle Island: Searching for Fossil Love,” Western American Literature (Summer, 1980): 103–121. [link to PDF]