'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' - Jo Shapcott
[review of Greyhound Night Service]

Preparing for the Hambidge Residency, Take 2

I have less than one week to go until I pack up and drive the couple of hours from my family's house to Rabun Gap, Georgia, to the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. I am extremely lucky to be heading into my second residency at Hambidge. After winter / spring 2018 as a solo writer-in-residence there (see several earlier posts), I will now be a resident working on a collaborative project with the ceramacist Martha Cook. While writing our proposal for this year's project, Martha and I set out three areas that we hope to explore in our working together, in exploring the creative connections between the processes of working with clay and working with words.

Last year's residency provided me the opportunity to research and then write a batch of new poems for my second poetry collection. Remembering the joy of working at Hambidge, last week I went through the Herbarium that I created at the end of the residency, from the many plants and flowers (including weeds!) that I catalogued from March to April.

In that early time of year, the 600 acres of forest was open and accessible, and I had little to worry about in the way of encountering ticks or snakes. As it will be summer this time around, who knows what wildlife I might encounter. I know that the area around has several active black bear dens, so perhaps I will hear or see them. Either way will be comfortable. I'm full of anticipation for my return and for the stillness and solitude that the residency has to offer. This time will be a new type of balancing act, a different form of working for me that will include less solitude and more dialogue about the nature and intent of my own work. I'm sure the collaboration will be rich with unknown and playful encounters!