In early 2020 I was looking around the internet for local poetry events and groups when I came across an Eventbrite listing for an event planned by the Indisciplinary Poetics cluster at Bristol University that captured my interest. Given that I didn’t work at Bristol Uni I thought I’d give them a shout to be sure I could come along, and they warmly welcomed me and any other mad person who would travel 2 hours from Swansea on a Friday afternoon to join in. So, I jumped on the train to Bristol for the first Indisciplinary Poetics networking event, and network I did!
At the kick-off event in Bristol we had energizing discussions about poetry and its links to our range of disciplines and practices – there were about 20 of us in attendance – me being the only attendee from Swansea. I sat next to Asha Sahni at the event, and it was lovely to learn that we had both been writing and engaging others with and about Haiku from different but related perspectives. Asha and I decided to bring our dream and conservation haiku experiences together to think and get creative about underwater environments.
In early January 2020, we envisioned a series of Underwater Haiku events around Swansea and Bristol and had already designed and started to work on our first event for late April to align with World Fish Migration Day. Fellow FIRE Lab team member, Daphne Giannoulatou and I made our way to Bristol in early February to meet with Asha to design the first event, including the activities, artwork, music, and food to share and engage with all. Things were coming along nicely, and we were all getting very excited for April!
Fast forward to 6 March, and the team swiftly recognised that in-person events were not likely to happen during spring 2020 due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 and emerging global pandemic. We decided to cancel our first event BUT did not give up with the idea! Instead, while the pandemic was unfolding around Europe, we were generating ideas how we could still bring Underwater Haiku to the people of Swansea and beyond!
Thanks to a lot of hard work and flexibility the team (re)designed a series of Underwater Haiku online activities and events throughout 2020. Hoorah! Today, we are proud and excited to announce the first of those activities, an Underwater Haiku Exquisite Corpse Creation! Creating an Exquisite Corpse is a bit of a game – you share a series of words about a theme or prompt without knowing what others have shared! What emerges is raw, gnarly, exquisite and possibly somewhat ridiculous, but perhaps that is exactly what we need as so many of us sit at our home distanced from one another? Let us find out!
Through this Exquisite Corpse creation, we will explore co-creation of poetry and people’s experiences with rivers, particularly underwater environments. What do we need from you? We invite anyone and everyone to contribute a series of words forming 5 or 7 syllables (in the spirit of Haiku) that come to mind with the prompt, ‘rivers and their underwater environments’.
The activity goes live on 15 April via a Google Form where you can contribute to this Underwater Haiku Exquisite Corpse Creation! We will be posting the link on firelaboratory.uk as well as on the lab’s and our personal social accounts. We look forward to everyone’s contributions!
Any questions please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.