Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CEAH Events at Open House

At the November 12th Open House, Professor Chris Marshall and I facilitated what turned out to be complementary activities across the hallway from each other in Koons Hall.  I set up a group of poetry activities, and Chris set up a Sunprint activity, using materials he collected from outdoors, including the golden Ginkgo leaves from the trees outside the Quimby Library.

Environmental Writing major Hannah Kreitzer was one of several people who stopped by to make their own Sunprints, a process that combines collage with photo-sensitive paper. Participants set up their collages, brought them outside to sit in the sun, and then brought them back inside for a rinse in the sink and some time to dry.

Meanwhile, across the hall, I slapped Magnetic Poetry words onto the white board, along with a few gingko leaves that Chris shared with me. Then, I set up the "Cut-Ups and Collage" activity. This one invites people to use cut-up lines of poems to make their own poems, either by collaging the cut-ups together or by combining the cut-ups with their own words.

Assistant Professor Stephanie (a/k/a Stevie) Wade and Unity student Sharlene Hazen, working separately, both chose to incorporate images into their work, too.

All afternoon, I encouraged people to take free poems from a collection of pages I'd torn out of the most recent issue of Poetry magazine.  Okay, I actually sort of forced people to take them.  I was that crazy lady standing in the hallway yelling "Free poems to good homes!"

Two Open House visitors, Liz and Cathy, stopped by for both art and poetry activities. They had lots of enthusiasm for the
sunprint process. They'd seen Magnetic Poetry before
and created these lines:

I loved seeing the many ways that art and poetry intertwined that afternoon.  Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally at all, Chris and I had chatted earlier that day about synchronicity being the natural state of affairs in the universe -- not the exception we sometimes make it out to be.
Words and images that make our hearts sing are also the natural state of affairs -- like this moment when a milkweed seed and its silky filaments parachuted from a sunprint pile and floated across the blackboard.


  1. Looks like a whole lot of fun going on at CEAH!

  2. Lovely! The connection between word and image resonates deeply with me, and I was thrilled to see pictures from both workshops. To me, this kind of work is at the heart of inspiring ecological engagement. Thanks, Michelle.