vocalisms is a twice monthly feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.
In this track, poet and publisher Brian Teare introduces “the notion of poetry as a form of fieldwork.” I’ve been thinking about this concept ever since I first heard Teare describe it. “Writing is derived from a lived relation,” he says, and “the rhythm and forms of the work emerge from encounters, from literal lived encounters between species.” Teare describes close, sensory-based attention to specific places, and then a “triangulating” of that experience with natural and human history. The approach strikes me as straightforward and yet brilliant: how would the way we approach our environments change if we gave such varied and focused attention to the landscapes where we live? Could we remain insensible to the effects of climate change? Teare appeared as part of the “Poetry and Climate Change” series presented by the Poetry Center in 2016-2017. Former Literary Director Hannah Ensor provides an in-depth overview of the series in this post for 1508.