I made a video of a talk I gave at the University of Ottawa English Graduate Student Association Conference Looking Through the Anthropocene: Exploring Climate Change and Global Uncertainties, held March 10-12, 2023.
Starting with Timothy Morton’s hyperobjects, I discuss concrete both as a ubiquitous building material accounting for around half of all human-made things in the world today, and as an innovative substance for turning creative ideas into reality, as it appeared to be in the early to mid 20th century.
The latter would have no doubt inspired the use of the word by the Concrete Poetry Movement active in the 1950s and 1960s. By integrating image and language, these international poets turned poetry into functional objects. Although not critically appreciated in its time, concrete poetry has continued as a poetic form. I discuss my own discovery of concrete poetry and prose, and read three pieces I have written:
– “Horizon is” (2021). “Horizon is” is the soundtrack on my video Horizon Lost and Found that may be found on this website.
– “Elegy for the Silver Eel” (2022), which I wrote last year and presented at the River Institute, and
– “Ode to Ordovician Limestone” (2023), which I wrote this year for a creative writing course I am taking at Carleton University––which won first place in the university-wide annual Songwiting and Poetry Competition!.
Access the Youtube video here.