Artist in Residence, 2015

Artist Statement

I grew up in a rural factory town and watched my creative family extend the grind of their monotonous jobs outside the factory walls and into their lives. I moved to a large city to become a writer to escape the factory, but in 2005 when visiting my family I realized I had turned my poetry into an assembly line, from how I constructed poems, to my sequenced folders for submissions to magazines.

This was a crisis until one morning I made a list of the problems with the factory, and at the top of that list was “lack of being present.” That morning I created what I call (Soma)tics, ritualized structures where being anything but present is next to impossible. They have what I refer to as an “extreme present,” and it continues to be inspiriting to me that (Soma)tics always reveal the creative viability of everything around us.

While At Headlands


With the World Wildlife Fund’s latest Planet Index reporting that 52 percent of all wild vertebrate animals (i.e. mammals, birds, reptiles, fish) have vanished in the past three decades, our awareness of our collective condition has never been made clearer as dangerous.  With each newly extinct species a vibration leaves our planet and a desert is swiftly rising around us as we fill the natural sounds with beeps and grunts of machines, with sirens and the bombs and the anguish that follows.

For my time at Headlands I will listen to a mix of extinct animal audio recordings while meditating on locations where nests and borrows would have existed.  The notes I take during these days of meditating on extinction will be formed into a series of poems.