Decomp

By (author): Stephen Collis

In the summer of 2009, poets Stephen Collis and Jordan Scott traveled to five distinct ecosystems in British Columbia, leaving a single copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species to decay for a year in each remote outdoor location. A year later the texts were retrieved, photographed and documented, and worked into Decomp, an extended photo–essay and prose poem. The poets allowed nature to make ‘selections’ from Darwin’stext, via decomposition. Each distinct ecosystem offered a different ‘reading’ of (and through) the rotting book’s pages. As evolution works, in Timothy Morton’s words, ‘‘through constant rewritings of the DNA sequence,’ so the poets found themselves faced with a constantly rewritten Darwin. The final text is ‘made up of all kinds of viral code insertions so you can’t tell which bit is original.’

Through colourful photo reproductions and prose meditations on their found texts, Collis and Scott have produced a work that moves beyond the typical dualisms of nature and writing — dualisms still active in Darwin’s own book.

AUTHOR

Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis is an award winning poet, activist, and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (2005), The Commons (2008), On the Material (2010, awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (2012), comes out of his activist experiences and is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change. A Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University in 2011/12, Collis has read and lectured across Canada, the United States, and Europe. The Red Album is his first novel.

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Details

Dimensions:

144 Pages
9in * 6in * .4in
230gr

Published:

September 20, 2013

Publisher:

Coach House Books

ISBN:

9781552452820

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Animals & Nature

Featured In:

Nature

Language:

eng

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