Going to be doing another Honey, Hives, and Poetry event with Dr. Mark Winston, this time at the BC Honey Producers Association AGM Conference and Tradeshow. Looking forward to it!
Lovely to be mentioned in an essay by my good friend Mark Winston (author of the 2015 Governor-General award-winning Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive and my collaborator on the Honey, Hives and Poetry Project). On bees, science, and writing:
…It’s a thing of beauty, this multi-fragment queen pheromone, an elixir of elegant function, reminiscent of the elusive perfection captured in the best poetry, where snippets of language weave together into a whole much more compelling than its individual parts.
I imagine writing poetry is like that, a mental image of Renee at work in her writing laboratory, testing combinations of words together, rejecting innumerable linguistic dead ends until the etymological data tell her the poem is done.”
Lovely to read a summary of last week’s Hives, Honey, and Poetry event by David Dalley, with whom I had the privilege of collaborating with recently in Newton and at Surrey City Centre Library:
“…Renée Saklikar, Surrey’s first ever Poet Laureate, Dr. Mark Winston, renowned bee scientist and Simon Fraser University professor, author of Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award (2015) for non-fiction, and Heidi Greco, celebrated Surrey poet and facilitator of audience participation.
Mark opened by introducing us to some of the science behind bees and their troubling disappearance. He then invited Renee to join him, and the two recited poetry, shared ideas and encouraged us to think creatively about how we might create a better world by being attentive to the lessons that bees have to offer.
Heidi wrapped up by inviting the audience to write a poem or two about bees. A few were read out loud, and more will be posted online shortly!”
Honey, Hives and Poetry: A Summary
Dr. Mark Winston’s succinct summary of our collaboration during last month’s wonderful Honey, Hives and Poetry event at the Vancouver Public Library:
“…Renee and I were stoked by the evening to grow the bee/poetry interface, and hope to write some new work and evolve our collaboration into a multi-media performance with music and other poets.
And we aspire to inspire, by offering opportunities for those who don’t consider themselves poets to dip their toes into language and vocalizations that express the inestimable insights that bees can bring to our human world.”
This piece first appeared on the League of Canadian Poets blog on April 24, 2015:
“Next I’ll speak about the celestial gift of honey”
~ Virgil, Book IV, Georgics
From the slow press of hours in ancient times to today’s digital staccato, poets obsesses about bees. For example, there’s Stephen Collis’ bee poems in his award winning poetry book, On the Material as well as Carol Ann Duffy’s The Bees, and of course, famously, Sylvia Plath’s “bee sequence” in Ariel and Yeats’ Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Bee poems pop out everywhere once you start looking, and you might find yourself clipping poems to carry around in your pocket, such as Eamon Grennan’s delightful “Untitled [back they sputter]. Start googling any poetry website and you’ll quickly discover poems about bees, bee-keeping, hives and honey. As well-known bee expert, scientist and author, Dr. Mark Winston says, “Art with bees energizes our capacity to imagine and deepens our attentiveness to the world around us.” His latest book, Bee Time, Lessons from the Hive, includes environmental analysis, memoir, and a lyric prose meditation on bees, art and culture. In the research for his book, Dr. Winston connected with Vancouver poet, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, author of a life-long poem chronicle, thecanadaproject that includes, among other things, bee-poems.
This year, Saklikar and Winston will collaborate on a lyric prose-poetry performance for which Saklikar has written a sequence of bee poems in honour of, and using text from not only Virgil but also Winston’s scientific data and publications. In preparing for performance, Mark and Renée were delighted to learn of Rachel Rose’s call to poets to investigate, explore, and celebrate food and poetry. As the new City of Vancouver’s poet laureate, Rose’s vision shimmers “bee energy.” She writes, “we want to investigate the ways in which food is ‘personal, political, sensual and powerful.’” Saklikar, a League member who studied with Rachel Rose at Simon Fraser University’s The Writers Studio, saw a nexus of community connections beginning to form: what might poets, community, and bees get going in Vancouver? Continue reading “Poets.ca: On Honey, Hives and Poetry”
Honey, Hives and Poetry: Featuring Mark L. Winston
This evening at Vancouver Public Library, I’m reading poems written in response to Dr. Mark Winston’s scientific articles and Virgil’s Georgics at Honey, Hives and Poetry in the City, an event that explores food and poetry as a means for activism and community building, ideas espoused by Vancouver Poet Laureate, Rachel Rose. 7pm, with a free honey tasting!
“Mark L. Winston (author of Bee time: Lessons from the Hive) is that rare individual, a scientist who can speak eloquently to the public. Recognized as one of the world’s leading expert on bees and pollination, Mark has had an illustrious career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues and science policy. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for 12 years, where he achieved wide recognition as a distinguished Canadian educator.”
Date: April 27, 2015
Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch
Address: 350 West Georgia Street, Alice McKay Room