"Toward an Ecopoetics of Randomness and Design: An Introduction:
What ecopoetics is and what it does, how it relates to but also exceeds ecopoetry, and the nature of its relationship to the more general poiesis (?making”) at work in the material universe remain open and thorny questions. Moreover, what are the insights from the more specialised field of experimental ecopoetry that we may bring to our understanding of ecopoetics in general, whatever the genre and material support on which environmentally-inflected poiesis deploys itself? As this Special Focus section shows, one may begin to answer such questions by taking into account notions of randomness and design, concepts that operate in experimental texts and the material universe at large, but which have not been sufficiently foregrounded in the ongoing theoretical debate on ecopoetics. Any sustained effort to understand how randomness and design permeate ecopoetics requires a vision of ecopoetics that goes beyond (eco)poetry. Providing some examples of what such a broader vision of ecopoetics might look like is also one of the goals of this Special Focus. Unfolding in three stages, this introductory essay will first map out the elements and orientations that inform the debates on ecopoetics, while also touching upon the adjacent territories of geopoetics, zoopoetics, écopoétique and Ökopoetik. A second part will meditate on the elusive concepts of randomness and design, and on how ecopoetics might be considered a form of adaptive mapping of their ever-fluid entanglement. The third part, finally, presents the contributions to this Special Focus section and surveys the different facets of the co-constitutive operations of randomness and design explored in each.