Poetry and Ecology: A Writing Workshop

The contemporary poet CA Conrad writes, “I cannot stress enough how much this mechanistic world, as it becomes more and more efficient, resulting in ever increasing brutality, has required me to FIND MY BODY to FIND MY PLANET in order to find my poetry.” In this writing workshop, we will explore this idea—that in the face of increasing ecological exploitation and degradation, embodied creative practice enables a greater sense of interconnection and responsibility to environment. First, the facilitator will provide an overview of “embodied ecopoetry” in the 20th and 21st centuries—from the “life work” of H.D. to the “breath poetics” of Charles Olson to the more recent “somatic” practices of contemporary poets. Then, workshop participants will take part in somatic (corporeal) exercises—with special attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of their local environments—to increase ecological awareness and generate several new poems of their own.

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