Poetry offers a way into the immediate, sensory and emotional world, and provides a space for thought, connection and questioning.
Poetry weaves its way through the work of somewhere-nowhere. It isn’t always the main outcome of a project, but it inevitably finds its way in and it is a fundamental part of the process. Harriet makes notes in books and on a smartphone to capture the sensation of particular moments, small details of landscape, or precise turns of phrase; these are the ingredients to go into the mix of writing. Occasionally, poems emerge complete, on location, but most poems find their final form during a process of editing.
Poems may take written form, or may begin as pieces that are performed and later committed to page. Some poems are created for installation in the landscape to become experiential pieces (e.g. treefolds, land art).
Poetry-making with others is also part of our work. It’s a really delightful thing to do, demystifying ‘poetry’ and co-creating final pieces that bring many individual voices together. We do this in schools and community groups and sometimes mix it up with visual art and film-making (for instance, through The Long View).
While most poetry is written as part of our self-led projects, there are also commissions; Harriet has been Poet in Residence for the UK Tree Charter, and has written for organisations including Friends of the Lake District, the UK Network of Environmental Economists and John Muir Trust). Her poems have been published in anthologies and magazines, set into sculptures, and performed at festivals (including Words by the Water, Maryport Literature Festival, and Timber Festival). She was been shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2018, and in 2019 a wooden sculpture carrying a short poem was runner up for the inaugural Westmorland Landscape Art Prize, which received more than a thousand entries from all over the world.
While Rob creates the photographs and videos for somewhere-nowhere, and Harriet is the writer, the conversations we have between us do feed into the written word; Rob frequently listens to drafts and his reflections or turns of phrase find their way into the process, and sometimes the final version, of a poem.
Browse through this section for a taste of some of Harriet's poety.