April 19 - 23, 2022
I build my language with rocks. – Édouard Glissant, “L’Intention poétique”
The connections between geography and creativity cut to the heart of the human imagination of how we live on and with the Earth. At its root, geography—from the Greek “earth-writing” or “earth-description”—speaks to how we both represent and create our place on the Earth, a calling that is at once empirical, scientific, aesthetic-creative, and political.
– Eric Magrane, “Situating Geopoetics”
This symposium invites writers, artists, scholars, and educators engaged with geopoetics, an emerging constellation of creative practice at the nexus of poetics and geography. Leading and emerging figures in geopoetics, Indigenous studies, ecophilosophy, environmental arts and place-based education will dialogue, learn from the land, lead seminars, present works, create, collaborate, and cross-pollinate.
Together we will consider geopoetics in the context of settler-colonialism and climate change to share strategies for staying with some of the more troubling questions and realities of scholarship, education and art in the so-called Anthropocene (the proposed epoch in which humans are recognized as a geological force). For instance, what role does imagination play in fostering new ecological/geographic paradigms? What lyric strategies amplify the role of more-than-human agents in public life? How might we grieve what we are losing while nurturing futures of multispecies flourishing? In a time of ecological precarity, this gathering offers space for rethinking and remaking relations with/in a more-than-human world.
Note: If you are planning to join us for the Geopoetics Residency following the symposium (April 23–27, 2022), register separately for both events. The residency is on a first-come, first-serve basis—but there are a limited number of spaces depending on the number and artistic medium of participants, so we recommend registering as soon as possible to ensure a spot.
Video documentation of this event will be available on Hollyhock’s Vimeo account shortly after the symposium.
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Health & Safety
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Sonnet L’Abbé is the author, most recently, of Sonnet’s Shakespeare, the only poetry collection to be named one of Quill and Quire’s best books of 2019. They are a professor of English and the Chair of the Creative Writing and Journalism Department at Vancouver Island University.
David Abram is a cultural ecologist and philosopher who lectures and teaches widely on several continents. He is the author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, and The Spell of the Sensuous.
Maleea Acker lives in unceded WSÁNEĆ territories. She holds a PhD in Human Geography and lectures at the University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University. She is the author of three poetry collections, including Hesitating Once to Feel Glory (Nightwood Editions, 2022), and a non-fiction book, Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast (New Star, 2013), which charts the Indigenous stewardship and current restoration of an endangered Vancouver Island ecosystem.
Julian Ankney is a Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) scholar and social justice activist. Ankney studies Indigenous feminism using the oral traditions of Nimiipuu and also explores digital literary tools to tell Indigenous stories. Her work has significance for Indigenous language reclamation and for social justice awareness of gender inequality, decolonization, sovereignty, and human rights for Indigenous Peoples.
Lee Beavington , PhD, is a poet-scientist-philosopher. He works as an interdisciplinary instructor and learning strategist at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he is developing a Fraser River/st ɑ l ə w Field School. His poems appear in Refugium, Sweet Water, Langscape Magazine, Ecopsychology, Poetic Inquiry: Enchantments of Place, and Scientists and Poets Resist.
Jessica Bebenek is a writer & interdisciplinary artist currently based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). In 2021 she was a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in Poetry. Her recent chapbooks include Fourth Walk (Desert Pets Press, 2017), k2tog (Broken Dimanche, 2018), and What is Punk (2019).
Anne Bourne – Artist / composer, traveller based in Tkaronto, improvises emergent streams of cello sonics / voice and text. A creative with composer Pauline Oliveros, and facilitator of empathic collective gesture through deep listening practice. A Chalmers Fellow 2022, Anne observes shorelines as difference in coalescence, through walking and field recording; creates in attunement to the spectral wave patterns of water. www.annebournemusic.com
David Bradford is a Black poet, organizer and translator. He is the author of Dream of No One but Myself (Brick Books, 2021) and Bottom Rail on Top (forthcoming from Brick Books, 2023). A founding editor of House House Press and a graduate of the University of Guelph MFA in Creative Writing, Bradford is based in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal).
Robert Bringhurst is a poet, a translator, an officer of the Order of Canada, and a lifelong student of Native American languages and oral literatures.
Dr. Heather Burns (she/her) is an associate professor and director of the Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) graduate program at Portland State University. Dr. Burns facilitates learning about emergent and collaborative leadership, sustainability pedagogy, ecological design & permaculture, systems of oppression, spiritual leadership, and deep ecology. Her work focuses on creating regenerative change through transformative learning, contemplative inquiry, experiential & embodied learning, and healing reconnection to the earth.
Nadia Chaney lives and works in Montreal/Tio’tia:ke, where she runs an arts based community research lab studying the nature of Time and Temporality.
Stephen Collis teaches poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University. His many books of poetry include The Commons, On the Material (Awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), DECOMP (with Jordan Scott), and Once in Blockadia (Nominated for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature).
sophie anne edwards (she/her/settler) is a geographer (PhD/ABD Queen’s U), walker, and environmental artist/writer. As the founding AD/ED of 4elements Living Arts she designed and curated numerous community-engaged projects including the Connections Trail which won an Ontario Lieutenant Governor award for cultural landscape heritage preservation, and Elemental Festival (multidisciplinary sitespecific work). She’s just finished her first full-length book of site-specific poetry (due out in 2024), and is working on two new projects with funding from the Canada Council of the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Mark Fettes teaches education at Simon Fraser University. His explorations of language and imagination include work on Indigenous language revitalization, research partnerships in imaginative place-based education, and leadership roles in the worldwide community of Esperanto speakers.
Julian (Jules) Fisher is a DJ, avid sound recorder, birder and a PhD Candidate at the University of Western Ontario in the department of Theory & Criticism. Music and recordings can be found online at julesfisher.ca/links
Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of two poetry books, Trauma Head and serpentine loop, and editor of the anthologies Against Death: 35 Essays on Living and V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She is a director of Vancouver Manuscript Intensive.
Erica Grimm is an artist and educator; Canada Council and SSHRC grant holder she is Professor of Art at TWU. Her material practice explores the entangled territory between embodiment, ecology and art, and her written practice considers the epistemological implications of the process of making.
Megan Gnanasihamany is an artist, writer, and curator in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal).
Eric Magrane is an assistant professor of geography at New Mexico State University. He is the editor of The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press, with Christopher Cokinos), and Geopoetics in Practice (Routledge, with Linda Russo, Craig Santos Perez, and Sarah de Leeuw,).
Imaginative. Bold. Genuine. Hopeful. Khari Wendell McCllelland is an award-winning musician and creative facilitator who uses the arts and experiential activities for transformational learning.
Hanna Sybille Müller is a choreographer, dramaturg and dance artist living in Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal. Her most recent projects include Moving through the Archive (2022) in collaboration with Galerie UQO and Polymorphic Microbe Bodies (2021)in collaboration with Erin Robinsong at Tangente, Montreal. Hanna studied dance at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie (RDA) and received a diploma in media studies at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) in 2012.
Michael Nardone is a postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Montréal. Co-editor of the Documents on Expanded Poetics book series and of the critical journal Amodern, he is the author of two books of poetry: The Ritualites (2018) and Transaction Record (2014).
Astrida Neimanis (she/they) is a white settler writer, teacher and scholar. Their work focuses on water, bodies and weather and foregrounds feminist, queer, antiracist, anticolonial, and crip perspectives. They are currently Canada Research Chair in Feminist Environmental Humanities and Director of the FEELed Lab at UBC Okanagan on the unceded Land of the Syilx people.
Cecily Nicholson is a poet and organizer. Her most recent book Wayside Sang won the Governor General’s award for English-language poetry. Her forthcoming title HARROWINGS (Talonbooks, 2022), is a study in black ruralities, almanac, agricultural, and art histories.Cecily volunteers with community impacted by carcerality and food insecurity and works in education. She was the 2021 Writer-in-Residence for the University of Windsor.
a rawlings is a Canadian-Icelandic interdisciplinary artist whose books include Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006), Gibber (online, 2012), o w n (CUE BOOKS, 2015), si tu (MaMa Multimedijalni Institut, 2017), and Sound of Mull (Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, 2019).
Vanessa Richards practices as a transdisciplinary artist and facilitator. With a passion for communities, collaboration and culture she initiates arts-based social projects that move us towards life affirming change.
Genevieve Robertson is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in environmental studies. Her drawings are often comprised of found organic materials collected onsite and map a visceral and long-term engagement with specific regions. (Note: Genevieve’s work will be installed at the gathering, she will not be there in person.)
Dylan Robinson is a xwélmexw (Stó:lō/Skwah) artist, curator and writer, as well as the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. Dylan’s work spans the areas of Indigenous sound studies and public art, and takes various forms of writing (event scores to autotheory), gathering, and inter-arts creation. His book, Hungry Listening (University Minnesota Press, 2020), examines Indigenous and settler colonial practices of listening.
Ebony Rose is a visual artist working in drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. A predominant area of her practice has dealt with natural phenomena – wind, water, light – as medium. She also incorporates materials from our biome such as cedar and coral. Her work invites contemplative experiences of our surroundings, the more-than-human world and is a window to witness changing passages of time.
Daniella Roze des Ordons (she/her) is a PhD candidate within the Educational Theory and Practice program at Simon Fraser University with a focus on ecopsychologyinformed nature-based education within a socio-ecological justice framework. She draws on over 15 years of experience as an educator, facilitator, and ecopsychology practitioner, guiding nature-based education and therapeutic programs.
Linda Russo is a poet and director of EcoArts on the Palouse.com. She lives on the ceded lands of the Nez Perce Tribe and the traditional homeland of the Palus Band of Indians and teaches creative writing and literature at Washington State University.
Cosmo Sheldrake is a London-based multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer. His albums include The Much Much How How and I (2018) and Wake up Calls (2019), composed entirely from recordings of endangered British birds.
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and bestselling author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures, winner of the Royal Society Book Prize and the Wainwright Prize. Merlin is a research associate of the Vrije University Amsterdam, and works with the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks and the Fungi Foundation. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms.
Ruby Singh is a multi award winning composer and producer that has been a longtime beloved member of the Vancouver artistic community. His creativity crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, photography and film engaging with mythos, memory, justice and fantasy.
Mendel Skulski is an ecology podcaster, mushroom enthusiast, and organizer with the Vancouver Mycological Society. They have been deeply intrigued by fungi since 2012.
Walking a path of collaborative installation art and arboriculture, Tracie Stewart arrives at the intersection of language and land. While working across mediums, she finds deep roots in drawing. Tracie strives to be a conduit for the voice of others and thrives while ” thinking like a waterway” .
Zuzana Vasko is an artist and educator whose art practice explores human-nature relations and the commonalities–both physical and metaphoric–we share with our ecological relations. Her research inquires into how arts-based learning can engender meaningful connections with local ecologies. She teaches with SFU Faculty of Education.
Flora Wallace is a ceramic artist, ink maker and illustrator based in London and Dorset. Much of her work is inspired by observing natural forms and movement and the behaviour of plants, animals and fungi. She studied 3D Design and material practise at Brighton University.
Rex Weyler is a writer and ecologist. His books include Blood of the Land, a history of indigenous American nations, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Greenpeace: The Inside Story, a finalist for the BC Book Award and the Shaughnessy-Cohen Award for Political Writing; and The Jesus Sayings, a deconstruction of first century history, a finalist for the BC Book Award. In the 1970s, Weyler was a co-founder of Greenpeace International and editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles.
Rita Wong is a poet-scholar who attends to the relationships between water justice, ecology, and decolonization. While on unceded Coast Salish territories, she co-edited an anthology with Dorothy Christian entitled Downstream: Reimagining Water, and is the author of current, climate (2021), beholden (2018, with Fred Wah), undercurrent (2015), perpetual ( 2015, with Cindy Mochizuki), sybil unrest (2008, with Larissa Lai), forage (2007, awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and Canada Reads Poetry 2011), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998). An Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Wong has also served as a steward and president in her faculty union.
Jen Yakamovich is a drummer, researcher, and improviser currently living and working as a settler on Coast Salish territories of the S ḵ w x̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Sə l ílwəta ʔ /Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and x ʷ mə θ k ʷ ə y əm (Musqueam) Nations. Her work focuses on the relationship between sound, social ecologies, and complex embodiment. She received her Master’s in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University in 2019. Jen performs under the moniker Troll Dolly.
Jan Zwicky was raised in the northwest corner of the Great Plains and presently lives on a small island off the west coast. Her most recent titles are The Long Walk, The Experience of Meaning, and Learning to Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis, with co-author Robert Bringhurst.
This event is convened by Erin Robinsong and Michael D. Datura, in consultation with a rawlings.
Erin Robinsong is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and the author of Rag Cosmology, Liquidity, and Wet Dream (forthcoming 2022). A PhD student at Concordia University, Erin’s research-creation work focuses on transcorporeal poetics. Originally from Cortes Island, Erin lives in Montréal.
Michael D. Datura is a humanities teacher, a doctoral candidate, and occasionally a poet. He is a member of the The Centre for Imagination in Research, Culture and Education and regularly instructs graduate level teachers about an Imaginative Education approach to learning.
Scholarships are available for those with financial need or barriers to attending. To apply for a scholarship, register for the event and follow the scholarship prompts. This conference has been developed in partnership with Hollyhock and Simon Fraser University. As such, scholars may be able to draw on conference travel and professional development funds from their respective institutions to assist with fees, travel and accommodation costs; artists/writers may be able to apply for travel or other funding from arts councils. We are committed to co-creating an inclusive gathering. Please apply for a scholarship within the registration form. We ask for a 5% refundable deposit to apply. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to pay the deposit.
We are committed to creating a barrier-free event. All main buildings and some accommodations are wheelchair accessible and there is an accessible washroom in the main dining lodge. Session-house washrooms are not fully accessible yet (there are a few steps to get to them). Paths between buildings are unpaved and uneven in places, but well-maintained and safe for most wheelchairs/scooters. We are happy to provide photos/video of the campus and paths on request, and can also offer transportation assistance between buildings if needed via golf cart. If you have accessibility needs/questions/concerns, please contact us at email@example.com
This event was made possible by generous support from
Carol Newell; Ginny Jordan; Ian, Victoria and Lucinda Watson; Bill Weaver & Siobhan Robinsong; Joel & Dana Solomon Fund; Mark & Sherry Deutschmann; SFU Institute for the Humanities; & the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Special thanks to angela rawlings, Stephen Collis, Mark Fettes, Astrida Neimanis, Linda Russo, Eric Magrane, Mendel Skulski, Merlin Sheldrake, Taylor Smith, Genevieve Robertson, Ebony Rose, Flora Wallace, Jessie Louie, Amber George, Anastacia Francis, Georgina Silby, Norman Harry, Noba Anderson, KK Hodder & the incredible team at Hollyhock. Thank you to all who gave their time, resources, thought and love to this event over the past three years, present or not.
Thank you to the Hollyhock land, ocean, shores, garden & forest and all who tend them, human and more-than, now, in the future and before colonial time. We honour and give thanks to the Klahoose (ƛohos), Tla’amin and Homalco Nations on whose unceded lands we gather.
Image Credit (above): angela rawlings | intime | from Sound of Mull, 2019