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Paddock Reads Poetry at SDSU Tuesday April 13

April 7, 2010

Joe Paddock, Minnesota poet, oral historian and environmental writer, will read from and discuss his latest book, Dark Dreaming, Global Warming, at 1:30 on Tuesday, April 13th in the South Dakota Art Museum Auditorium.

Paddock’s world view is ecological, and he is a student of depth psychology, especially the work of Carl Jung, and of the texts of Taoism. In an effort to realize the insights in these studies, he has done dream work and practiced meditation for many years. Paddock has been a Community Poet for Olivia, Minnesota, a Regional Poet for Southwest Minnesota, a poet-in-residence with Minnesota Public Radio, an adjunct professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Minnesota, and a humanist with the American Farm Project.

Paddock was a founding member of the Land Stewardship Project, and worked with it during its formative years. His book-length poem Handful of Thunder and his Sierra Club book Soil and Survival were outcomes of this work. Among his other books are A Sort of Honey, Earth Tongues, Boar’s Dance, and Keeper of the Wild: The Life of Ernest Oberholtzer

Paddock says the following about the land and his work:

“To experience the land aesthetically one must give up the struggle to dominate it, and instead become receptive to its beauty and its drama. It is then that we merge, that we lose ourselves in the deep truth of our oneness with the whole.”

“Anyone who lives on and with the land, who works with its forces, also has access to these aesthetic experiences. The individual who has opened to them is proof against willing participation in the rampaging destruction of the natural world that has so characterized our time.”

“Inherent in prose, I believe, is a dilemma to which poetry (all art) is the answer. Communicating in prose, as we do, trapped in the prosaic levels of life, we can only intuit wholeness.”

“When writing poetry, we allow in the wholeness, we welcome it. We work with images and rhythms capable of conveying, of carrying, wholeness. The reader in turn is given an experience of wholeness, a moment in time that is complete, one in which he or she does not feel the need to change or control the world.”


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