Wall of Miracles
I’m very happy to announce that one of my poems has been chosen to feature in an installation of poetry at the University of Exeter. One word – AWESOME!! Marcus, a poet friend of mine, (who also had a poem chosen to be part of the installation!) forwarded me the details of the competition and as the subject was nature I decided to give it a go. The details simply were:
“This is a chance for your work to be part of an Installation at the University of Exeter. Invitations are open for prayers, meditations, eulogies or descriptions of animals or features of the natural world. Each poem must fit on a luggage tag: no longer than 16 lines, each line no more than 45 characters wide. The winning poets will have their work inscribed on the luggage tags, and on the opposite side will be an image connected to the poem. A reading will accompany the installation and take place during the conference. The poems will be chosen from those submitted by both the University of Exeter community and the wider writing community. The installation will be carefully curated and presented and will be in place for two to four weeks.”
Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the reading due to my commitments at Eden but I went home to Devon last weekend and popped up to Exeter to see the Wall of Miracles in the flesh. It was a beautiful day, the sunlight dancing over the wall made it look even more intriguing and enchanting. It was an amazing feeling seeing my poem printed alongside other wonderful talented poets, from all over the world too. The poem I entered is a haiku called “Japanese Camellia” and reads as follows:
Trees of blood red buds
An unmissable colour
The rose of winter.
There was a short blurb about the Wall of Miracles project and the poets who founded it next to the luggage labels, which was:
“Exegesis, the poetry collective of University of Exeter phD poets Jaime Robles, Mike Rose-Steel and Suzanne Steele welcome you to our Wall of Miracles, a celebration of our glorious and perplexing natural world, in association with the University’s College of Humanities Postgraduate Conference 2013. Here you will find poets’ homages to the biological and material world – from herons and camel spiders to otters and flowers, from clouds to skunks and litter on the landscape.
Wall of Miracles follows the 2012 project Autumn Leaving that Jaime Robles staged as a guerilla poetry installation, on this gorgeous wall once used in the Edwardian era for espaliered fruit trees. With stealth (and a Canadian friend), Robles hung fifty dried maple leaves, printed with his poems, on the wall and let passers-by read them and take them, if they wished. Rewardingly someone created a leaf poem of their own and hung it – a poem of lost love – alongside the other leaves, confirming Robles’ perception of the wall as a thing of quiet and lustrous beauty. The fact the wall stands outside the University’s Wellbeing and Health Centre adds another layer of significance to the site.
The poets who have written these poems for Wall of Miracles come from as far afield as the UK, Canada, Europe and the United States. Among them you can hear the voices of a nurse writing during breaks in her night-shift, a poem recording encroaching blindness, the director of a university writing programme, an Arts Council fellow, a mother inspired by her son’s scientific advice, a Hawaiian poet who once worked in Silicon Valley, the composer of a hundred couplet-long poem, a poet birder-extraordinary from Northern Canada, a hipster urbanite, University of Exeter undergraduates and alumni and Exegesis themselves. The members of Exegesis are all researchers and writers, just recovering from their last project – 52 Shades of Black and Blue – a satirical take on love and hyper-profitable publishing.
We hope you enjoy our Wall of Miracles. Join our Facebook page and celebrate with words this wide green and blue planet we call home.”
If you’re local to Exeter and are interested in this kind of thing it is well worth taking a look at the Wall of Miracles. See if you can spot my poem! 🙂