Poetic Justice: Walking the Talk in Eco-Education
In the empty lot – a place not natural, but wild – among the trash of human absence, the slough and shamble of the city’s seasons, a few old locusts bloom. (Wendell Berry, “The Wild”)
In these times, it is worth remembering, we can still create, co-create, or if necessary, re-create, the value of things.
We know the facts of climate change… How to respond? The idea is simple: When we take students and scholars out of their classroom cages, minds and hearts open to the larger ecological, social and cultural world around them – a world that now desperately needs open hearts and minds. The session will begin with the session leader briefly sharing her latest work in a decade old project to engage students in reflective, ethics-based eco-education. From there, this walking-talking nature immersion session collectively explores mind-opening climate change education in light of heart-burning, soulful, mature, poetic reflection. Our radical goal is to talk, listen, take note, write, and find hope in the only place change ever begins: from the ground up.
Artists and poets must also help to decide whether or not it is permissible to use chemicals in farming….
So, come on. Let’s do nothing, together!
Please bring a pencil, something to write with, and a passion for the great outdoors. (No experience necessary).
Time/Day: Saturday March 21 2015 10:10 am
Location: EMU Porter Lobby then the Great Michigan Outdoors.
Update: Our session evolved into a collaboration session with Jussi Mäkelä of the Art-Eco Project, Tampere, Finland http://artecoproject.com/team/ and his work, An Oak: A Phenomenological Approach to the Concept of True Capital. For this, Jussi found some Michigan Oak, a bee-hive, brought some copper wire from Finland and made a thought provoking sculpture exploring eco-justice and gender. Thanks for the way-open discussion with the Finlanders representing. Super cool.
This post is in honour of my mother, Grace Gallacher Gaylie (Tobin), born in Glasgow, Scotland, passed away in Vancouver Canada, September 10, 2014.
I chose this photo for my mother’s funeral prayer card. Here my mother sits in her wheelchair: strong, eager, happy, well loved – and looking forward. In other words, real beauty. Total authenticity. Totally human. That was my mother’s spirit. She was a true Glaswegian-Celtic woman: bold in generosity, constantly encouraging of young people, and kind, loving, and most of all, genuine, to every person and living entity she encountered. My mother was gentle — though never weak. My mother worked in Glasgow factories as a teenager, then in Woolworth’s in Glasgow and London (she had a fun sense of fashion and style). She also had a grounded sense of humour, and good Glaswegian-Irish wit.
My mother, my friend, my mentor – my first teacher.
My mother was also known for her deep, genuine, spirituality and social justice ethics, which she put into practice throughout her life, as a labourer, as a mother, and as a worker with the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement and other Vancouver charities.
My mother’s soulful respect for life, and death, was with her to her last breath.
My mother always appreciated a song, simply sung:
Find Veronica March 2014 EcoJustice and Activism Conference @ Detroit for her presentation: Poetry and Bread: Writing, Roaming and Resisting With Eco-Poetry I have a white rose to tend In July as in January - Cultivo una rosa blanca, En julio como en enero - Jose Marti
Yes, we need poetry, as well as bread.
In a time of climate change, of anti-environmental regulation, in a world of pipelines and globalised consumer greed . . . poetry has never been more crucial. Now reflect for a moment on “the heart of nature”, the connected food system we did not create. In 1884, Cuban activist, educator and poet Jose Marti wisely predicted that nature “cannot be explained in formulas on the blackboard, but rather in the layers of the earth itself.” – This environmental immersion workshop explores eco-poetry (writing and reading) as a form of ecological justice, where nature is teacher, where non-human and human – meet.
Please bring a pencil, something to write with, the urge to go outside, and dress for the great outdoors.
Celia Cruz sings Marti’s poetic revolution – her own way
Book Launch @ University of Lethbridge February 17 2014: A Heart of Wisdom: Life Writing as Empathetic Inquiry. Cynthia Chambers, Erika Hasebe-Ludt, Carl Leggo, Anita Sinner (Editors).
Some of Veronica’s talks this year:
Into the Wild: Counter-narratives at the Edge of Human Ecology. International Globalization, Diversity & Education Conference. Spokane, WA. February 2014.
Ground Up, Hands On Narratives in Environmental Learning @ Loon Lake Gathering, British Columbia. October 2013.
World I love this garden: Keeping it real in the urban school garden @ International School Grounds Alliance Conference, Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto. September 2013.
The Role of Eco-Poetry in Interdisciplinary Partnership Models. International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) Tenth Annual Meeting on Environmental Philosophy, Thinking and Acting Ecologically @ The University of East Anglia, UK June 2013,
Learning Gardens: Looking Back, Moving Forward @ University of London (UCL) London UK. April 2013.
One of Veronica’s radio essays @ Sunday Edition CBC radio, Pilgrimage.