A collection from CUE Books, Vancouver (2014), O W N assembles three very distinct ecopoetic practices: Heather Hermant’s “poems for glass” ; angela rawlings’ “How to Manage a Conservation Conversation” and Chris Turnbull’s [ untitled ], each responding to ecological damage in the anthropocene through socially-engaged, site-specific practices ranging from interactive installation (Hermant), to a near-impossibly adaptable play (rawlings), to words grafted onto life-forms (Turnbull).
poems for glass were written on over 100 fused glass tiles created by Melina Young for the commissioned performance installation “Nice Bumping Into You,” which we co-created at the invitation of Diaspora Dialogues for Nuit Blanche at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, 2010.
Click to read poems for glass. Requires a password.
Praise for the collection:
“The three works contained in this book move in what Chris Turnbull calls “endless directions.” Glass refracts light, bodies fracture into rays, a line moves beneath land and river, people walk in and out of the room. As I encounter the various ecopoetics articulated here—their overlaying of “all these bodies. all this water” (Turnbull), our interpenetration and possible identity with “THE NATURE” (rawlings)—I encounter the sharp fear that Hermant articulates: “i fear i am the Earth / and so i am toxic / life upon me decaying / radiant and irreproducible.” … By inquiring into what can make us shatter, break apart as individuals, communities, ecosystems, these works also offer us some ideas about what can hold us together. If “the body is an illusion of fortitude” (Hermant), it’s not “a pipe / line” that’ll keep us close.”
“Read this book and become glass, become a line, become a room, become a glacial tongue.”
“Three poetic takes on the senses of “own,” from (dis)possession to acknowledgment, and of the responsibility that recognition brings. These playful, site-specific choreographies address fragility, “glass delusions” and communal fears. Own exposes gross transparency, listens dialogically, to acknowledge that THE NATURE will not do what it is told. Our feelings, for instance, own several roles. Riding tandem with the “mourning cloak,” you’ll want a copy for the map case. An exquisite, thought-provoking book.”
– Jonathan Skinner