Writing In and Beyond the City, springs from the tipping point reached at the turn of this millennium: for the first time in recorded history, more people live in cities than in rural areas, closer to nature. Cities are magnets and magnifiers, their concentration offering a rich terrain for the mind and the arts, a space where change is paramount. Literature has generally gravitated to cities as a theme, and now more than ever these hot spheres of innovation and creative destruction dominate our imagination of the world. Yet what if contemporary literatures urban bias gets in the way of imagining the concerns and forms of the sub-urban, the provincial, the peripheral, the hinterland, of space abandoned? Thus if we must begin to write to the scale of endangered eco-systems, must fiction and poetry give up its love affair with the polis?