Today I am officially announcing that I will be sailing the arctic circle on an ice-class tall ship in Summer 2013 as part of an arts and science residency with The Arctic Circle.
The Arctic Circle is a unique, incubator program where artists, scientists, and environmental activists get together to work on individual projects and cross-pollinate ideas, all while sailing on a barkentine around the arctic circle in the International Territory of Svalbard.
Believe me, if this sounds like an ecstatic, wonderful dream to you, impossible, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, I feel the same way! I keep waking up in the morning thinking… okay, I dreamt that this was going to happen, right? It’s not really true. But it is!!
I will be taking part in the first summer expedition in July 2013, when it will be light 24-hours a day. For my project, I’ll be recording and documenting the experience, with a particular focus on the effect that the isolation, and the intensity of the arctic environment will have on the work of those on board. I will be journaling, writing poems, and collecting audio recordings of the ship, the sounds of the sea and ice, and talking with other participants about the impact of the voyage on their creative process.
My documentation of this voyage officially begins now, because though it may be months before I actually get on a plane to go, the expedition has already begun. Over the next few months, I will learn as much as I can about the region I’ll be entering, the arctic environment, the vessel we’ll be sailing on, and the history of arctic exploration, as well as delving into the tradition of the poetic journey. I’ll be documenting this process in the form of letters, a longstanding custom of maritime history.
Each day I’ll be writing you a letter about my research, my thoughts, or whatever new aspect of the voyage presents itself. It is my way of taking you with me. So please stop by and check out the new posts each day, and feel free to suggest ideas or ask questions. Come explore the arctic circle with me!
September 2, 2012