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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Perched: A Poet in The Academy


This collaboration between a Vancouver poet and a Montreal-Boston visual artist is meant to introduce a poetic-artistic perspective to academic terrain.

The poems, written in spare diction, and the delicate nature of the forest, juxtapose the tensions between the industrialized academy and creativity. The goal of the work is to

re-connect poet/artist with the world, in a newly re-imagined place, a creative, thriving, organic, collaborative place.

The work describes the places (dreams, parks, ponds) where academia and nature collide. Here, the academy meets the sudden, startling signals of nature (birds, owls, mountains). In the final poem, “Light,” both poem and visual representation bend to the ground. The piece thus becomes a meditation on survival, brought by the grace and gentleness of the earth itself.

This artistic collaboration is ultimately meant to re-humanize and expand the narrow definitions of our workplace institutions through the interruption of poet/artist as forces of nature themselves.

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