Sunday, January 27, 2013

"the earth torn, split open"

Richard Blanco, who read his Whitman-esque poem "One Today" at the presidential inauguration last week, is a Miami native and FIU alumnus. And like so many poets, he has a day job. He is a civil engineer. In 2008, he was involved in a road improvement project on Sunset Drive, the major artery running through downtown South Miami. While working on the project he became captivated by one of the black-and-white photographs at City Hall that depict South Miami long before his or our family arrived here. Thinking about the temporal space between himself and the single figure depicted in the photograph, he responded in poetry. Here is the text of "Photo of a Man on Sunset Drive: 1914, 2008," from the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sunset Drive road improvement project (published in 2011 in Floating Wolf Quarterly):

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"a nursery of opportunity"

This is the video of James Jiler's talk, "A Sentence of Transformation," at TEDxCoconutGrove last October. James talked about his experiences developing horticulture programs for prisoners at Rikers Island, and, since 2008, his work with Urban GreenWorks, which helps at-risk adults and minors through garden-building projects in South Florida.

James designed the beautiful food forest and native plant landscape around tin box, which produces food for us, creates habitat for native species, and conserves water and natural resources. Next on our reading list: his 2006 book, Doing Time in the Garden, about gardening in prisons.