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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ecopoetics Postcard: Susanna Fry

I don’t think it’s quite a conscious thing. I don’t think it’s quite an unconscious thing.

I am fascinated with layers to my work, layers in the world, the way things build upon each other and form bigger things. I create a work in a series of sittings, walkings, lookings, touchings, starings. I then melt them all together. One of the things that sticks with me from my college courses in eco-feminism is the traditional sense of dualism that our contemporary world adheres to. I grew up in a very black and white family. A family that ran on logic. I believed that there was only one right way to do something. One right way to behave. One right way to look. I still struggle with this idea. I’ve spent many years wandering around looking for someone / something to guide me; to show me the way. However, when it comes to writing poetry I abandon this dualism eagerly. I do not want to try to fit into a certain structure or shape. I strive to be as inclusive as I can, allowing strange images to play off each other and form into even stranger ones. I am into multiplication, exponents, and divisions. I think of my poems as collections or sacks of stolen things.

How can my world not be seen as female, if I am the female seeing it?

As a feminist and a poet I am able to see the intersection of the two as a possible eco-poetics. I am constantly looking to the world for answers. I am constantly alone. There is no answer I keep trying to remind myself. The world backs me up with its proud silence. To the woman looking for answers this is a very powerful conclusion. My work takes the form of air, lists of corner store debris, birds’ feathers. I could compare my work with words to my garden. Once I start digging more and more items surface; rusted metal scraps, doorknobs, Sunkist soda bottles. I refuse to see this as an answer but rather as the initial question.

Allowing it to justify itself.

Time is very important to my writing. Letting an image sit with me over a period of time. As a poet my priority is to not only speak through images but also with them, to have authority but to also be submissive to things like wind, love, electricity. This complicated and fluid action is my own personal eco-poetics. I don’t know that a poet could say that they were not influenced by their surroundings. It appears impossible.

This postcard forms part of the forthcoming feature on Ecopoetics in the next issue of HOW2.

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