I will be involved in two events at the upcoming Berkeley Conference on Ecopoetics:
Excursion: The Aeolian Marsh: An Embodied Poem
Artist Megan Berner and poet Jared Stanley will lead an excursion/embodied poem at Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park. The poem will be sewn on ten handmade flags, its words interacting with marsh, wind, and smell. This poem evokes questions about the political implications of memory and marking territory. More broadly, the poem asks whether ecology, ecotone, touch, and language can make an environmental poem, a poem “in” place.
The Book, Ecopoetic Instrument
Richard Greenfield, Brenda Iijima, Jared Stanley, Tyrone Williams
“All earthly existence must ultimately be contained in a book. It terrifies me to think of the qualities (among them genius, certainly) which the author of such a work will have to possess. I am one of the unpossessed. We will let that pass and imagine that it bears no author’s name.” – Mallarme, The Book as Spiritual Instrument
Engaging Mallarme’s provocative statement about the book and turning it inside out, this panel will propose various ways in which the form of the book, as a carrier of ecopoetic content, far from being conclusive and all-encompassing, engages interrelation as an aspect or avatar of the oikos. The panel will consider wreading as a bodily and historical process, in which historical land surveys can be re-read as aberrant ecopoetic texts, vernacular rock writing can be read (and re-written) as texts which are radically in context, and in which dance and sculpture can perform outside/beyond/in excess of text to agitate affect.
The “papers”, or “talks” or “demonstrations” will vigorously call into question whether the book and its occasions for reading – on the couch, in the library – are the appropriate site, or place, for ecopoetics. We’ll explore work that critically engages experientiality, which works outside, beyond, and in excess of conventional textuality, and showcases the body as the multi-locational and ever-changing generator of thinking. Readers participate in meanings with more of our sensory organs when texts are performed in time, or are located, in space, moving poetry from the noosphere to the biosphere, allowing the poem to act as a catalyzing form embedded, ecologically, in place and time. As a result, the panel will present ways in which ecopoetics can trouble the poem’s relationship to the book.