Iâ€™ve posted an interview with the poet Jen Hadfield up on the main site. Iâ€™ll admit I hadnâ€™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,Â she doesnâ€™t have a single political bone in her body.
Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m not political is possibly partially about the generation I come from but also to do with me as a person.
But itâ€™s inevitable that anyone with Hadfieldâ€™s subject matter becomes political, in the sense that – as SiÃ¢n Ede was saying – nature is no longer just out there as the ineffable, unstoppable force. â€œIt is tainted. It is sad. It is ending.â€ Itâ€™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:
Itâ€™s not just about people going out into the landscape and looking at it. â€œOh how lovely and interesting and possibly sublime!â€ Thereâ€™s an anxiety in there as well about how itâ€™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