Poetry in the WildExcerpts from :Discovering a Watershed Moment in Art”
by Doug Norris, South County Independent, April 17, 2003
It’s an adventure with a twist. In the explorer’s tradition of letter boxing and geocaching, Charlestown artist Ana Flores had created a way to combine a walk in the woods with a treasure hunt by celebrating art and poetry.Her Poetry of the Wild project involves a series of artful boxes called “poetry boxes” shaped and built to birdhouse specifications From April 19 to June 2ist the boxes will be installed at 16 sites, including fishing access areas on the Wood and Pawcatuck rivers and trail heads.
(Click here to read some or the poems left behind...)
"The project developed because I kept thinking of the garbage that I saw everywhere around me” Flores said. "I wondered how do you make them think about what they’re doing, how do you turn them into instead of slobs”? Beginning g in January of 2003, Flores set up an office and studio at the Wood Pawcatcuk Watershed Association campus on the river in Hopkinton to begin a six month term as WPWA artist in residence. A sculptor, environmentalist and community arts advocate whose work is shown internationally and held in private, corporate and institutional collections through out the United States, Flores wanted to get people thinking about the connection between art and nature.
“Our environment is the source of our creativity” she sai . “It’s our collective mind, where our creative urges come from. I thought about those Japanese poets in the mountains. I wanted to get people thinking about how they use the environment, and how artistic experience punctuates our experience in the environment."
Form these musings, Flores arrived at the idea of turning a birdhouse into a “poetry box”. Inside each box will be a different poem about the natural world by a published poet, as well as a notebook and pencils so that people who visit public riparian areas can record thoughts, poems and wildlife sightings.