I am so excited to share that I’ve been invited by the Red Rover Series to perform as a featured artist in Chicago’s city-wide performance arts festival, IN>TIME! I present on Friday, February 12th at 8pm.
I’ll be presenting a piece, titled “BLUE LIGHT and WAVE” that is dedicated to the deep blue twilight of the sub-arctic. Here’s the write up for it:
BLUE LIGHT and WAVE (video projection, installation, and performance; approx. 20 mins)
Red Rover Series at Outer Space Studio
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave
February 12th and 13th, at 8pm
suggested donation $4
Dedicated to the deep blue of arctic twilight, BLUE LIGHT and WAVE meditates on human fragility, memory, and longing. Centered on the premise that light is a language, BLUE LIGHT and WAVE engages the subtle light of twilight–the sun’s intensity is softened as the earth turns away from its direct shine; shorter blue wavelengths dominate the landscape, allowing distant starlight to permeate our gaze.
In the realm of this softened blue light, our bodies are perhaps most open to receiving the subtle messages that have traversed unimaginable distances to descend into us. Under such a sky, can we speak with the stars, to the gentled sun? What stories do we seek to communicate back into the heavens?
Video elements were shot in the subarctic environment of wintry Norway, capturing the twilight’s fall into deep blue. The installation collects together materials from the region that were “charged” with this blue light; the hope is that they will transmit these wavelengths resonantly into the audience’s bodies. The performance poaches elements from the Korean traditional dance form of the salp’uri–a shamanic dance for discharging grief and hardship. A meditative solo dance, the salp’uri form features a long white sash that helps the dancer communicate these emotions into the atmosphere.
An intimate experience, BLUE LIGHT and WAVE invites up to 20 individuals to wander through the installation and observe a twenty minute ritualistic recitation and performance.
If grief is a deep blue set loose in our bodies, can it find rest under a twilight sky?
This came out just around the holidays, and I forgot to link to it!! An INCREDIBLE review of my new book, Solar Maximum, over at Ploughshares! Thanks to John Rufo for the immense attention and care. WOW.
I have a new poem up at The Fanzine! It’s called “The Thaw” and is dedicated to my explorations in the sub-arctic, and it ruminates over the essential “blue print” of life. When I was in that blue light, I couldn’t help but feel that I was connecting with something deeply ancestral–not just on a human scale, but ancestral to all of life’s basic energies. It was a beautiful, solitary, contemplative time up there.
Speculative literature author Peter Tieryas just wrote the very first review of my new book over at Entropy Magazine. Entropy is hands down one of my favorite online literature and culture sites, and I am so grateful for his generous critical attention!
My third collection, SOLAR MAXIMUM, is now available for order from Small Press Distribution! I am immensely grateful to Futurepoem for ushering it into the world as such an incredibly gorgeous object.
I wrote this book when I was filled with a great sense of turbulence and concern about our collective human future. I started to wonder what humanity might become–the spiritual essence of our humanity–in the wake of a massive disaster.
I had also begun a daily sky-watching practice…of simply and quietly observing the sky for a few silent minutes each day. I was touched by the way the sky was so transformative each instant, and how all terrestrial life makes its way under this vast aerial canopy.
I began to write these poems trying to trace–to speculate upon–this future spiritual phenomenon. I wanted to inhabit it as fully as I could from within my own consciousness, and poetry seemed the best mode for trying to do so. I envisioned a calamity we couldn’t escape–the dying sun. And I wondered about what strange, monstrous light it might cast in its final months and days. Many creatures experience a sudden bloom or intensity just before they die. I feel the sun would be no different at its end. But what would that mean for us, the intimate receivers of this light?
If you also feel full of a strange impending calamity, if you desire to let loose within yourself an otherwise of light, than I would love to share my words with you. To inhabit and imagine the space after together–even if only in a dream space.
My stepfather, James Kestell, passed away yesterday morning. He died with his son, nephew, and my two brothers as witnesses. Thinking about his passage onwards, my mind can’t help but recall some of the landscapes I wandered through last winter–in Iceland outside Reykjavik and along the mouth of the Snaefell peninsula, and in the arctic mountain plains outside of Tromso, Norway.
The intense saturation of blue at the cusp of the long nightfall holds the sky with a heavy physicality. The horizon disappears, and distances recede into you with profound intimacy. These landscapes helped me emit an immense grief. The endless wind that poured over the Atlantic and rolled across these icy plains simply pulled grief out of me, letting it roll with pale tendrils across white and blue reaches into un-nameability. Into far span, into farewell and soft light. I was called back into my humanity by my encounter with these severe landscapes. Maybe you will be, too.