A place for poetry

by Artist Development Fellow

Devi Lockwood ’14, an associate of Dudley House concentrating in Folklore and Mythology with a citation in Arabic, was awarded

an Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA)/Office of Postgraduate and National Fellowships Artist Development Fellowship to create a series of interlocking poems examining the folklore and stories associated with the southern Mississippi River between Memphis and New Orleans. Lockwood is a two-time recipient of a Carol K. Pforzheimer Student Fellowship (2011 and 2012) for projects exploring the works of female poets at the Schlesinger Library. Her work has been published in a number of publications including Tuesday Magazine, Sinister Wisdom, Awosting Alchemy, Verse Wisconsin, and others. She plans to pursue an MFA in poetry. UPDATE below.

Greetings from Provincetown! I'm finishing out a fantastic, week-long poetry workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center with Gail Mazur. Gail is a Boston native with an impeccable sense for the musicality of words. She, along with a multi-generational room of classmates, have pushed me to grow this week. I'm embracing capitalization and the music of punctuation, a step in the right direction for me. The class has met every day for three hours in the afternoon, leaving lots of time for writing, exploration, and more writing. We also had an opportunity to give a public reading on the last Thursday of class.

I've been generating lots of new work—all of it strongly influenced by the sea, of course—and also immersing myself in the totality of this beautiful place. My first night I went to a drag show featuring Joey Arias and Raven O for free with one of my workshop classmates who reviews performances for a local paper.

Since then I've been spending my evenings after class with Cape Cod native Chase Berggrun, a super-senior at UMass/Amherst and a phenomenal poet. One night we went swimming in the Atlantic sometime after 2 am and I was completely enchanted with the phosphorescent plankton left in the trail of our legs in the water. After last night's poetry reading we went out to the dunes to watch the sunset. It's a whole other landscape here, and I'm completely in love with it. I can't wait to see what new sights and sounds the Mississippi will bring.

Soon I'll be leaving for Memphis, TN with Caroline Lowe '12 and Meredith Keffer '12, both graduates of the Folklore & Mythology department. We'll have a Folk & Myth bike train going for the first week, and after that I'll be navigating to New Orleans on my own. I won't have internet access aside from my phone, though I'll do my best to send in a photo and a quick story from the road. Here's to stories and people and new landscapes.

UPDATE: WXVT News in Greenville, MS covered Lockwood's trip in a segment on the 10 o'clock news. Watch it here.

[Caption: "Immersing myself in the totality of this beautiful place" (photo by Devi Lockwood).]