Art installation on Vancouver seawall calls out Canada’s climate inaction

The #SeaLevelUprising art project sends message to leaders during First Ministers’ Meeting. Continue reading Art installation on Vancouver seawall calls out Canada’s climate inaction

The Next Eco-Warriors

The Next Eco-Warriors is a powerful collection of first person accounts of environmental struggles being fought by young activists from around the globe. Although they vary widely in focus, strategy and outcome – from oceans, to mining, to deforestation – the central theme concerns every living being on the planet. This is a very real fight happening right now. Through her opening and closing words in this collection, editor Emily Hunter demonstrates clearly that, as the daughter of Greenpeace founder Robert Hunter, she is living and breathing her father’s lasting environmental legacy, while also making the case that the next generation of eco-warriors has come of age to be smarter and even more determined than its predecessors. The stakes are higher than ever and these young people are fighting for our lives.
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The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

In her enthralling book, Susan Casey goes to the places where the ocean rears up like an enormous bucking stallion, and talks to the people who then study and/or ride it. What she finds is a tribe of people who flock to the ocean as the Coast Guard shoos people from it.
In a globetrotting, effortlessly readable narrative, Casey introduces us to the scientists seeking to understand why the world’s oceans are getting progressively angrier, and the surfers who regularly cheat death by riding waves taller than most apartment buildings.
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Deepwater Vee

“This boat grafts you to water’s big-winged glide,” observes Melanie Siebert in Deepwater Vee, her beautifully original debut poetry collection. Shortlisted for the 2010 Governor General’s Award, Deepwater Vee is itself a boat, sailing on Siebert’s 10 years as a professional guide on rivers from Alaska to Baffin Island, including the desecrated North Saskatchewan and Athabasca. Her words carry us to the heart of wilderness landscapes and reveal startling new ways of understanding them. The poems in this collection evoke Siebert’s journeys with a surge of language that runs at times with a deep, measured fluidity, then dives into sudden chutes of unexpected metaphors or dark realities.
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Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art

Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art

Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art
curated by Stephanie Smith
Chicago and New York: Smart Museum of Art,
University of Chicago and Independent Curators International, 2005.

Eco- or earth-art of the last half of the the 20th century often involved massive alterations of the landscape; think of Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, De Maria’s Lightning Field, or Christo and Jeanne- Claude’s Running Fence or The Gates. In Beyond Green, artists who are now approaching mid-life prime explore the implications of sustainability in, and for, art. In addition to the 20-plus pieces described, the book itself and the museum spaces that house the exhibition represent a commitment to “greenness.” The book, for example, notes its paper is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council and its inks are soy-based. The entire package – the works, the displays, the book – thus represent the practices of recycling, collaboration and other principles of sustainability. They also demonstrate, in contrast to earlier eco-art, the links between social justice and the practice of sustainability.
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Open Wide a Wilderness

Open Wide a Wilderness
Nancy Holmes ed., Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009, 510 pages.

Nancy Holmes, a professor in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, is to be congratulated for this plump and sumptuous anthology of English language Canadian nature poetry.

In Open Wide a Wilderness, two centuries of poetry by over 190 poets are assembled in only 510 pages. Although it enjoys little mainstream attention, Canadian poetry is strewn throughout the myriad inconspicuous little seeps and rivulets that feed the watersheds nourishing our national literary culture. It’s found in the colourful archipelago of small presses across Canada (including Turnstone, … [Click here to read more!] Continue reading Open Wide a Wilderness

A Private History of Awe

At the age of four, a thunder and lightning storm became a defining moment for Scott Russell Sanders. He felt “the tingle of a power that surges through bone and rain and everything … the force that animates nature and mind….” Using science he could explain what caused the thunder and lightning but not why the experience took on such meaning for him. Looking back on that moment, Sanders recognizes the feeling as “awe.” He says, “The search for communion with this power has run like a bright thread through all my days.” Using skillful prose to bring the ineffable into focus, Sanders guides the reader through other “why” questions – the ethical, political and spiritual struggles of his life. Continue reading A Private History of Awe