Geo-Poetics Translations

Stauffer Communication Arts B (STAUF-B) – B115, FabLab

Friday 27th, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Paul Harris (Loyola Marymount University)

This workshop invites participants to enjoy the poetic qualities of stones, through a process that facilitates ‘close reading’ of both texts and rocks. In the workshop, a large variety of very different, interesting rocks (sized from pebbles to large cobble) will be set out on tables. Bowls will be placed around the space filled with small pieces of paper (like fortunes in cookies) on which single lines or short excerpts of poems will be printed, with the poet and poem listed. The texts will all reference rocks or the geologic in some form or other. There will be other empty tables or workspaces. Finally, there will be an area for creating a display, with tables with supplies for creating a stone display: cushions filled with sand; ceramic and wooden trays and bowls; sand; wood blocks; assorted other materials on which stones may be placed for display.
Participants will proceed as follows:
  1. Draw a text from one of the bowls.
  2. Go around the tables, examining rocks closely, and select one (or two) that you find fits the poetic line(s) in some way.
  3. Go to the empty tables reserved for working with rocks. Write an interpretive text that explains how you see the fit between text and selected stone(s).
  4. Go to the area for creating a display and select materials and show the stone(s) in a way that reflects your interpretive text. Take a photo of the display.
  5. Option: draw your display.
  6. Option: write an original text about your stone(s)/display.

The final 20-30 minutes will be reserved for participants to share their displays and discuss the process, how it changed any perceptions of poetry or stones, any larger insights into geo-poetics they gleaned, etc. Participants will be invited to keep their stones (but not the display materials) and a shared folder will be set up if people wish to share their photos and writings.