Poetry

100 Thousand Poets for Change

This post comes to you from Cultura21

September 28th 2013

100-Thousand-Poets-for-Change-logoPoets around the USA, and across the planet, gathered in a celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change : ” The first change is for poets, writers, musicians, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other communities around the world.”

The idea is to change how people see the global society : ” We have all become incredibly alienated in recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We need to feel this kind of global solidarity.”

It appears that transformation towards a more sustainable world is a major concern and could be a global guiding principle for this event.  There is an increasing sense that need to move forward and stop moving backwards : “Together we can develop our ideas of the change/transformation”. Each community group will decide their own specific area of focus for change for their particular event. 100 Thousand Poets for Change will organize “participants” by local region, city, or state, and find individuals in each area who would like to organize their local event.

For more information about the event : click here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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In praise of the Boring Milipede

Boring Milipede

Erratic Ant

Hornet Robberfly

Orange Roughy

Elegant Earthstar…

Today I am giddy with the found poetry of the names of endangered British species. A member of the Arts & Ecology ning has posted news of an imaginative new artwork by the Ultimate Holding Company collective in Manchester. extInked starts on November 19 November 12 as an exhibition of drawings of 100 endangered species from the UK. From November 26 tattooists start to ink those drawings onto the skin of 100 volunteers. Each illustrated person then becomes an “ambassador” for the threatened species their body plays host to. The exhibition has been arranged with the support of the Marine Conservation Society, Buglife – the Invertebrate Conservation Trust and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

The announcement of the exhibition came with the full list of the 100 species that the artwork was focussing on:

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Soprano Pipistrelle

Noble Chafer

Wormwood Moonshiner Beetle

Noctule…

We tattoo our skin with the names of our loved ones. This artwork seems to question how much we love these declining species. ExtInct makes me think of the project the writer and journalist Caspar Henderson has been working on, The Book of Barely Imagined BeingsThe Anthropocene extinction, human imagination, and what comes next. In his explanation for the project he comes out with a brilliant phrase which has stuck in my head ever since I first read it:

Most real creatures that we think we know embody wonders we have hardly dreamt of.

Read more about extInked., (includes the full list of 100 species.)

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Congress Uses Poetry to Talk about Climate Change

One of my favorite poets, Drew Dellinger, has reached Congress through the raw beauty and strength of his words.  Click here to see Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin refer to Drew’s poem in aid of Al Gore describing our responsibility to our future grandchildren as it relates to climate change.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

John Kinsella/Melanie Challenger | Travelling by other means

I’m really pleased to say that the RSA Arts & Ecology site is hosting a new artwork. It’s a collaborative piece of poetry created by Melanie Challenger and John Kinsella called Dialogue between the body and the soul.

The idea came from a reading that both poets were invited to in New York in 2007. Though they had worked together — John had edited Melanie’s debut collection —  they’d never actually met, so the event would have given them both that chance. Kinsella lives in Australia; Challenger lives in the UK. But both were becoming increasingly uneasy about the idea of artists travelling internationally just to give readings of their own work.

In the end, neither travelled to New York. Instead, they’ve decided to create this collaborative work which comes from their decisions to eschew air travel for such events.

The first poem arrived in my email box yesterday; it’s posted on the site today, initiating the exchange. Take a look. I’m loving the idea of seeing a piece of work like this evolve in my email inbox.

You can link to the poems here tinurl.com/dialoguepoems.

Photo: Roger Bishop

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

T S Eliot prizewinner Jen Hadfield on RSA Arts & Ecology

I’ve posted an interview with the poet Jen Hadfield up on the main site. I’ll admit I hadn’t even heard of her until she won the T S Eliot Award a few weeks ago, but Nigh-No-Place turns out to be really great for its vivid, unruly, close-up-view poems about life in the back-0f beyond.

Two things I found intersting: Hadfield is, self-admittedly, a poor reader. Despite a love of language, she finds getting through novels hard. Which is one of the reasons why she graviates towards poetry.

Also, by her own admission again,  she doesn’t have a single political bone in her body.

I’m almost alarmingly apolitical, which is something I have anxiety about in the same way as I do about the reading thing. I think that I’m not political is possibly partially about the generation I come from but also to do with me as a person.

But it’s inevitable that anyone with Hadfield’s subject matter becomes political, in the sense that – as Siân Ede was saying – nature is no longer just out there as the ineffable, unstoppable force. “It is tainted. It is sad. It is ending.” It’s something broken, and if you write about it now you are inevitably writing about catastrophe. Hadfield sees herself as writing from within the ecopoetic tradition, but with that modern knowledge:

It’s not just about people going out into the landscape and looking at it. “Oh how lovely and interesting and possibly sublime!” There’s an anxiety in there as well about how it’s changing and about how we make ourselves at home out there, how we impact on it.

Read the full interview here.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology