Embodiment in gardening : hybridized poetics

Kendall, J ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1688-8580 2019, 'Embodiment in gardening : hybridized poetics' , in: The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times , Ecocritical Theory and Practice , Lexington Books, pp. 115-135.

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A Poetics of Embodied Gardening
In 2012 I undertook a series of gardening writing residencies. These comprised a period of volunteering with Todmorden's Incredible Edible Farm, a stand alone, not for profit company that teaches small scale commercial food growing and marketing skills to young people, in order to help them start food production businesses. On the farm, food is produced through permaculture to ensure minimal impact on the environment. I also undertook a digging residency in a household private flower garden and spent two periods at the only organic vegan market garden in the UK, which offered a monk in residence and gardening meditation retreats. In addition I spent time at the Incredible Edible Gift Economy Eco-Farm - a community project in development that was aiming to achieve a totally money-less shared community resource for a sharing economy, off grid, using renewable energy, and sustainable renewable materials. The philosophy and approach to gardening in each case was highly individual, resulting at times in heightened discussions as I compared the different methods and beliefs.

A series of poetic notes taken during each residency resulted in a collection of visual gardening poetry insatiable carrot which were initially featured on wall posters around Todmorden market, sponsored by Incredible Edible, and then published by Cinnamon Press in 2015. This collection includes poems of several styles and approaches, from traditional sonnets to vegetable haiku to highly innovative and visual pieces. The different kinds of poem can be mapped almost exactly on to the different gardening residencies. Given the process of composition, with the poems produced from notes made in each residency, and the contrasting approaches to gardening that each residency proposed, the different style of poem that results indicate a strong connection between the poetics of the composing poet in each instance and the style and practice of gardening engaged in at the time, on which either directly or surreptitiously the poem reflects and reflects upon. It would seem that the more embodied the poet in the land, the more embodied the poem.

This chapter considers to what extent that relation of embodiment is more than mere accidental serendipity.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Milthorpe, N
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Publisher: Lexington Books
Series Name: Ecocritical Theory and Practice
ISBN: 9781498570206 (hardback); 9781498570213 (ebook)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr J Kendall
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 08:59
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 14:02
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/50317

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