13TH ANNUAL ROBINSON JEFFERS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
FEBUARY 16-18, 2007, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I, HONOLULU
LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGINED: WRITING, A SENSE OF PLACE AND MAKING A LIFE IN NATURE
In the last few years, we have seen a growing interest in environmental literature and, as a result, an increasing interest in a sense of place. Robinson Jeffers is without doubt one of the premiere poets in this regard. Much literature has been written and scholarship published about a sense of place, but little has been written about the actual inhabiting, or as Snyder would have it, re-inhabiting of the place. Scott Slovic, our keynote speaker at the 12th RJA Annual Conference, talked about the importance of materials used in a house. Much discussion then ensued about the aesthetics and politics of wood and stone.
The participation of WS Merwin in the next RJA conference provokes questions and ruminations about the role of and importance of the house for the poet. As Jeffers did with his Tor House in Carmel, Merwin has committed himself to a place and a house on the island of Maui.
In addition to contemplating the house, it is important to consider the patterns of living as well as sociopolitical issues and aesthetic issues associated with living in a place. Setting up a life that affords and creates the possibility for a sense of place takes many forms and provides opportunities and challenges.
Thoreau was very concerned about the details of his cabin: the materials, the cost, the design and its various meanings. Jeffers wrote many poems about the building of and living in Tor House. Other writers such as Snyder, Scott Russell Sanders, and Wendell Berry have pondered the meaning of a house, of windows, of perspectives offered around and from the house, the materials of wood and stone, of visitors and community, of domesticity. Snyder also discusses what was lost as well as what was won by committing to a place. In addition, Snyder discusses the fact that house and the place have equal importance to the writing project and these are inseparable parts of a larger project.
At a moment when globalization is accelerating at alarming speed, as people move around more swiftly than ever, and as information flows more quickly if not more elegantly than ever, it seems useful to consider this issue of getting a life, of crafting a world of pattern, emplacement, and commitment.
Please consider papers for this conference on the relation between Jeffers, poetry, writing, and crafting a life. As usual, we will welcome papers within and without of the chosen conference theme.
More information on the location of the conference, special accommodation packages, and activities are forthcoming. Let it be said that we will have a good bit of Hawaiiana at this conference with an opening chant, a local speaker, and perhaps a hula.
For the moment please send abstracts/papers to: Ron Olowin, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions, please contact Ron Olowin or Peter Quigley, RJA President, at email@example.com. Mahalo Nui Loa.
Deadline for submissions: November 30, 2006.
We welcome and encourage engagement before formal submission.
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