In “The Loon,” Mary Oliver describes a moment where, woken from sleep and deciding to read, she hears “the perfect voice of the loon” calling “to the fading moon, to the pink flush / swelling in the east” soon to be the new day. “I do not close the book,” she says. “Neither, for a long while, do I read on.”
In this workshop, participants will listen to birdsong from living and extinct bird species to capture luminous moments of inspiration. Long a symbol of union between earth and sky, the physical and the spiritual, poets have been writing about birds for centuries. And in a world where climate change has turned to climate crisis, where pandemic survivors are left to process loss and grief, where the world sometimes seems unrecognizable, birds are more than harbingers of myth and metaphor. Here, their song serves as prompt for powerful new poetry offering hope and healing. Participants will receive packets of bird-themed eco-poetry and resources for further, at-home inspiration.
Note: this workshop stands on its own but is also intended as introduction to the advanced poetry course “Housed in the Same Body.”
Paula J. Lambert has authored several poetry collections including The Ghost of Every Feathered Thing (FutureCycle Press 2022) and How to See the World, a finalist for the 2021 Ohioana Book Awards (Bottom Dog Press 2020). Lambert has been awarded two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards and two Greater Columbus Arts Council Resource Grants. She received the L’Engle-Rahman Prize for Mentorship, honoring mentor/mentee pairs, in PEN America's longstanding prison writing program. Lambert owns Full/Crescent Press, a small publisher of poetry books and broadsides. Through the press, she has founded and supported numerous public readings and festivals that support the intersection of poetry and science.
Call to the Fading Moon: Birdsong as Poetry Prompt takes place Saturday, April 2 from 1-4pm remotely online via Zoom.