Henry Art Gallery
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 11:00 – 2:00 PM
Transects & Diffractions: a field poetics workshop

Field writing is a way of making a relation with one’s immediate surroundings: call that the field, the world, the phenomenal, the present, the real. Field poetics urge you to put aside goals and frameworks, and to let the world in. This exploration of the Portage Bay shoreline will plunge you into a field writing exercise that explores your own poetics of relation to local waters.  You can expect ripples, splashes, close encounters with jetsam . . . culminating in a polyvocal recitation of our findings.

Who works with field writing? Scientists, poets, anthropologists, spies, cartographers, navigators, philosophers, and others—to capture observations, to generate theory in relation to place, and to document processes as they occur. Workshop facilitators Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and July Hazard have used field writing to generate hypotheses for ecological studies, to write poems, to reflect on histories of conquest and ongoing Indigenous life ways as resistance to colonial violence, and to make theory about queer and trans embodiment in more-than-human dimensions. 

In this workshop, we will ground field composition in two methods: first, the transect* as a way ecologists can sample diversity or poets can sample memory and perception, and second, diffraction** as a way philosophers can sense and explore how things come to matter in relation. 

By the end, we will engineer individual and collaborative poems, and put them into dialog with texts ranging from Indigenous poetics and queer feminist theory to European explorers’ logs and floodplain engineering documents. 

General Admission
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Senior (62+)
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Henry Members, Students, UW Faculty/Staff
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Have questions? Contact Henry Art Gallery