William Fox is a writer, poet and the Director of the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. His work is a sustained inquiry into how human cognition transforms land into landscape. His numerous non-fiction books rely upon fieldwork with artists and scientists in extreme environments to provide the narratives through which he conducts his investigations.
Disowning is the last poem from Bill Fox's Reading Sands, a collection of desert poems which explore cognition and land, how we as human beings turn land into landscape, terrain into territory, space into place.
WILLIAM FOX: This is going to less a meditation than a pomatum, some kind of ending before we take a break. I started out my life as a writer, writing poetry. I still write poems. I'd like to read the last poem from Reading Sand, which was my selective desert poems 1976 to 2000. Just to give you a little bit of context for this, most of the nonfiction books that I write have to do with cognition and land, how we as human beings turn land into landscape, terrain into territory, space into place. Almost all of that arises from the poetry that I've written in the past. That preoccupation stems from the poetry, not the opposite way around.
It's a bit of schizophrenia in my life, that I spend most of my time speaking as a nonfiction writer giving lectures speaking about things like the cartographic imperative. I don't often get to come into this arena and do a poem, so thank you for the opportunity to do that.
It's in four parts. It's called Disowning, and you'll hear the resonance with some of the things that have been talked about today.