We call ourselves kin’d & kin’d, a composite eco-poet who leads poetry courses and writes collaboratively. We are hosting a short series of free events for ONCA – field fairing – in which we investigate and celebrate diverse views and thinking about ways of making eco-poetry.
After the brilliant readings and discussion with our first two poets, Merrie Joy Williams and Jason Allen-Paisant, we now introduce our third event, in which we take the elements as a starting point and look at four poems concerned with earth, water, air and fire by poets from diverse communities across the world, whilst exploring the notion of indigeneity in relation to the elemental. You can register via Eventbrite here.
In our earlier blog posts, we attempted to define the term eco-poetry in the light of the increasing awareness of the roots of extractivism, and the need to explore ways of realigning our relationship with the non-human that are based in social justice.
In field fairing III, we carry that ethos into a reading of work by poets who take us to the heart, the root – the undeniable, elemental sources that are present to everything, non-human and human; poets such as the Latina and Mojave American poet, Natalie Diaz; Joan Naviyuk Kane, who is Inupiaq, and by First Nations poets in Australia, whose editor writes:
‘The fire of poetry is fundamentally relational. There is someone who is spoken to, and someone who is the speaker, sure – but there is also someone who is made responsible by the work, and an ecological sense that all this poetry relates to and enables the other.’*
We will contemplate the word ‘indigenous’ in its simplest definition – ‘of the place’ as well as more official definitions and approaches to what has been described as ‘ a colonial practice of transmitting “information” about Indigenous Peoples rather than transmitting Indigenous Peoples’ perspective about themselves’.
By choosing the elements one is opening to the universal experience of earth, water, air, and fire, here to be honoured by traditional and diverse ways of being-with and writing-with – so in this webinar workshop we will be inviting you to participate in a modest ‘happening’.
*Alison Whittaker, introduction to Fire Front, 2021
ABOUT KIN’D & KIN’D
Kay Syrad is a poet and novelist, formerly Poetry Editor of the longstanding journal Envoi. Her third poetry collection What is Near is published on 6 September.
Clare Whistler is a collaborative artist in movement, text and performance. She is co-founder of the award-winning annual WaterWeek.
kin’d & kin’d will be launching ‘Wild Correspondings: a sourcebook’ this month – an anthology of eco-poetry written by poets attending their correspondence course during the first 2020 lockdown. The course connected correspondents with Knepp Wildland through Isabella Tree’s book Wilding, and the resulting anthology comprises ideas and writing exercises, the original letters exchanged as well as poems and artworks. Available from Elephant Press from 18 September. http://elephantpress.co.uk/
Image: Chris Drury, from Heaven & Earth 2