Berger | Kisstank & Night Jar: Naming & Belonging

Kristin Berger

In this workshop, we’ll investigate and identify your poet’s homeground, past and present–the physical landscapes and animals, plants and weathers that reside there–and name them, bringing their unique and colloquial meanings to the surface. When a bird becomes a nightjar, and a depression of water in the desert becomes a kisstank, worlds of imagery, metaphor, lyricism become available to the poem, and ultimately places the reader, and ourselves, in a landscape we are in relationship with, understand more deeply, and can call home. A map of belonging. Bring a list of place and creature names with you–rural, urban, suburban—wherever you are placed, and be curious! Supplemental readings: Barry Lopez & Debra Gwartney’s Homeground: A Guide to an American Landscape, The Sibley Guide to Birds, and Sibley Guide to Trees, by David Sibley, The Cloud Collector’s Handbook, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, and Dictionary of Plant Names, by Allen J. Coombes.Poetry: Sparrow Envy, by J. Drew Lanham, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, by Pattiann Rogers, and Tree Talks: Southern Arizona, by Wendy Burk.