Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 15, 2013 Hazel White Live!!!

Last week we had Hazel White live in the studio, discussing her book Peril As Architectural Enrichment (Kelsey Street Press 2011). This is her first book of poetry, following her 12 books on gardening and landscape design. We started off talking about peril in landscape and language. She discussed meeting the 'resistance of language' when attempting to write about landscape. Her book grapples with the experience of being in gardens, in landscapes that are created and inhabited by people. Hazel told us about the 'de-centering' that can happen when interacting with the garden and in the potential discomfort of reading poetry.  We learn from our discomfort and de-centering. Hazel transitioned from prose to poetry while attending CCA, when she discovered that one can write about landscape architecture in poetry.
Later in the show, Hazel talked about her collaborative project with Denise Newman, "Botanica Recognita: Signage to Facilitate a Greeting," at UC Botanical Garden's show, "Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects Scientists and Poets in the Garden." In this exhibit, Hazel and Denise created 25 plant signs that re-imagined the content one encounters when learning about plants in a garden. We also learned about her "Site Sonnets," which were presented at the Eco-poetics Conference at UC Berkeley.
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