Welcome to Terra Poetics
TerraPoetics is a joint initiative by poet Adelia MacWilliam and artist Ramon Kubicek. Through our postings we hope to explore the features of the ecological imagination. This imaginative territory will be based on place (the West Coast of British Columbia, but will reach out to other similar efforts elsewhere), and it will explore how language and image have changed and are continuing to change how we feel about where we live in the world. First of all, we acknowledge that we belong at some fundamental level to nature. Our bodies are from the earth and will return to the earth, and although our selves may connect to a much wider, even cosmic sphere, we must begin by honouring where we come from. And we can only honour that properly by seeing the place itself. That seeing is a particular kind of work. It is work that can be accomplished by poets, visual artists, and philosophers. And it is work that we aim to engage in here.
When Adelia MacWilliam did her poetry thesis at the University of Victoria she discovered that if you cast the mythic imagination across a piece of land that has always been part of your life, everything will out. What she encountered amidst the remnants of a stunning wilderness – a savage history, with its culturally sanctioned amnesia – changed her view of her home forever. Her work explores the complexities of a settler culture struggling to create a home in a world it is simultaneously gutting.
Adelia was also co-founder of Cascadia Poetics Lab, www.cascadiapoeticslab.ca, which, pre-pandemic, produced annual poetry events and the monthly Red Tree reading series in Cumberland on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. She has poems published in Reckoning 3 and 4, and in the anthology, Sweet Water: Poems for the Watershed. She divides her time between Cumberland and Desolation Sound.
Educated in Montreal at Concordia, where he studied art, creative writing, literature, and film, Ramon spent a year after graduation traveling through North Africa and Europe, and then decided to continue art studies in England where he also worked in children’s theatre, gave wine tastings, and studied Gothic cathedrals, in particular their relationship to the landscape. He also studied ancient story-telling traditions of different cultures, Byzantine mosaics, and Sufism.
Returning to Canada after almost six years, Ramon moved to the West Coast and fell in love with the mountains and the sea and how it was possible to walk through forests uninhabited by human beings. He worked in a variety of media, including writing and performance, and taught full-time at the post-secondary level, including Emily Carr University and Langara College. In 1994, he received a Rockefeller FlowFund award for work on art and in particular, healing art with water. He was also co-author of a book on contemporary transformative art, One Source: Sacred Journeys (Markowitz Publishing, 1997). He makes art full time, and now splits his time between the Sunshine Coast B.C., and Montreal, PQ.