Watch Your Head
Coach House Books, 2020
A warning, a movement, a collection borne of protest.
In Watch Your Head, poems, stories, essays, and artwork sound the alarm on the present and future consequences of the climate emergency. Ice caps are melting, wildfires are raging, and species extinction is accelerating. Dire predictions about the climate emergency from scientists, Indigenous land and water defenders, and striking school children have mostly been ignored by the very institutions – government, education, industry, and media – with the power to do something about it.
Writers and artists confront colonization, racism, and the social inequalities that are endemic to the climate crisis. Here the imagination amplifies and humanizes the science. These works are impassioned, desperate, hopeful, healing, transformative, and radical.
This is a call to climate-justice action.
Cover design by Ingrid Paulson
...Watch Your Head does not disappoint. It serves as a warning to heed, a reminder to be thought of often, and a well-thought-out piece of art. Throughout the anthology, readers encounter pieces that provoke and insist, demanding attention, consideration, action, and creativity. Essays and stories and images alike bring about questions and statements on Indigenous rights, white privilege, exploitation of land and people, colonial power structures, place, home, language, and imagination.
This anthology is not to be missed. The pandemic may have defined our year, but the climate crisis defines our time in geological history. See how this roster of talented writers and artists advance the conversation, put the crisis in context and call for climate justice.
THROUGH ALL KINDS OF WEATHER
They’re down to the final four on So You Think You Can Text? The judges have locked in their scores and Richard is going home. To costal Regina.
The party’s off to a slow start on Orgy Pad. Contestants can’t concentrate. Not with the roof missing. There’s mood-killing daylight in the Velvet Room. And all that blurred-out flesh moves with virtually no enthusiasm.
Flash floods in Fredericton. Wildfires in Winnipeg. Tornados in Toronto, the CN Tower plucked, planted needle-down, piercing a pipeline. It’s Russ and his State of Emergency roundup.
“Is this the end? This reporter thinks so,” he says to empty living rooms across the country. “Is anyone out there? Maybe you’re flipping through the channels, looking for something mindless to take the edge off.”
Russ hits a button. It brings up a banner graphic with his cell phone number.
“Russ is going full telethon. All Russ all the time. Call me. I don’t want to die alone.”
Undercover Brute. In which Rico discovers the smog-related respiratory illnesses plaguing his deadbeat clients. He’s moved to tears. He gives them another week to pay up before he breaks their legs.
Knife Swap. A cleaver for Rita. A carver for Ted. Because it’s getting crazy out there, people.
Russ has the whiskey out. And his clothes off. He’s draped over the anchor’s desk checking his phone for missed calls.
The banner graphic with Russ’s phone number is still on screen.
“Call me. You can’t live for tomorrow. Tomorrow is happening and it’s an arid wasteland. Fucking disease and tumbleweeds. And I want to live. I want to find you and make post-apocalyptic love. So pick up the phone and—”
Adam Giles’ short fiction has appeared in Sonora Review, The Feathertale Review, The Humber Literary Review, Riddle Fence, The Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His story “Corduroy” won the University of Toronto Magazine Short Story Contest in 2013, and other stories have been longlisted and named runner-up in PRISM International’s Fiction Contest, the House of Anansi Broken Social Scene Story Contest, and the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction. His writing has also been nominated for the National Magazine Awards and the Best of the Net Anthology. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife and two children. Find him on the web at www.adamgiles.ca.
Watch Your Head is an online journal of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
New work is published monthly!
Check out our latest project: a print anthology published by Coach House Books!
Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis
Coach House Books
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