The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Please see the 2019 schedule below!
This session will be presented with a sign language interpreter.
Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard takes the reader from the endangered Canadian boreal forest to the environmentally threatened Svalbard archipelago off the coast of Norway, connecting continents and tracing the impacts of climate change on northern lands. With a feminist gaze, Jenna Butler questions explorer narratives and the mythic draw of the polar North. As a woman who cannot have children, she writes out the internal friction of travelling in Svalbard during the fertile height of the Arctic summer. Blending travelogue and poetic meditation on place, Magnetic North will draw readers’ minds to the beauty and power of landscapes under threat, and ask them why some stories in recorded history are privileged at the expense of those left to speak from beneath the surface.
Jenna Butler is the author of the poetry books Seldom Seen Road, Wells, and Aphelion; the essay collection A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge the of Grizzly Trail; and a new poetic travelogue, Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard. Her research into endangered environments has taken her from America’s Deep South to Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, and from volcanic Tenerife to the Arctic Circle, exploring human impact on lands under threat. A professor at Red Deer College, Butler lives with seven resident moose and a den of coyotes on an off-grid organic farm in northern Alberta.