When I was a young teenager, airplane hijackings came into vogue. Perhaps there were more then than now. Added precautions probably cut down on them. But in the 1960’s, they filled the news.
My overactive imagination easily created a scenario in which I was trapped with my family in a downed plane among sand dunes.”If we get hijacked, what will we do?” I asked my mom.
To her credit she didn’t point out any of the unlikelihoods. She just retorted: ‘We’ll teach Danny to read.”
My brother was about three years old at that time, so it would have been quite an undertaking. But I felt instantly unworried and happy. And that was because I had an activity.
This approach continues to help me. After all, much of life is about being hijacked–by history, health, finances, fate. Even by our own characters, and obligations. Free will, as a Jesuitical friend once explained me, is not an absolute, but on a scale. And that scale slides.
It can’t be a coincidence that I’ve taught literacy my entire adult life–from ESL to composition to poetry, fiction, and memoir. When my plans are hijacked, even by a pandemic, I still have something to do.
Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge, a sculpture by Isabel Winson-Sagan, is the first piece to go up in the Yard. It is made of wood and the plastic caps off of baby formula. It references forest fire, and the flooding caused by ecological destruction.
The photographs are by Matthew Morrow.
Miriam and Isabel are a mother/daughter creative dup working under the name Maternal Mitochondria.
If you are interested in visiting the Yard or proposing a project, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist’s Statement from Isabel Winson-Sagan Miriam Sagan will be opening The Poetry Yard this year, an outside space where sculpture and poetry can be fully experienced. Here is a sneak peak at the first sculpture to go up- a permanent feature of the yard. Made entirely of recycled materials, this land art project helps direct rainfall by incorporating a dry pond. The sculpture’s relationship with the land may change over time- will the wood rot when exposed to water? Or will it remain an ever present reminder of fire and drought? As our climate changes, the sculpture may reflect that change on a local level. Along with the ambiguity and anxiety of climate change, “Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge” brings up issues of human consumption and how different organisms feed. The sculpture takes inspiration from saprophytic fungi (mushrooms that consume dead wood) and the twin processes of parasitic and symbiotic growth. The plastic and dairy industries are an ambiguous two-edged sword- using unsustainable environmental practices while at the same time greatly expanding human access to food and vital resources. So the question is: how do we achieve a balance between human needs and biological destruction? The text on the piece reads: (A triangle) Between me / G-d / and the water
40 days I haven’t written a poem, I, who do not count—especially days— Fixed in memory the start of the unutterable. 40 days I’ve been listening to the perfection Of mutely alternating verses That won’t let themselves be tripped up by words. Enchanted by the creation Of an incessant Disguise of nothing as everything.
Translated from the Serbian by Sibelan Forrester, Zephyr Press
Haibun is the prose and haiku combination first developed in Japan. It can be considered the original hybrid form! We’ll learn about haibun and write pieces that include timed writing, diary entries, and flash memoir. We’ll practice with placement of haiku, contrast, and metaphorical thinking. For writers at all levels. Background material and resources will be sent to each participant before the workshop
Tuesday, October 5th from 6-8pm (Mountain Time) Haibun (haiku & prose) Workshop via Zoom Free and open to the public but space is limited, and participants must register. To register: write email@example.com