a woodpecker’s thuds
quickly repeated trickle
t h r o u g h w o o d e n d i s t a n c e

Mark Goodwin

Conceived by the artist Paul Evans and co-curated with Brian Lewis of Longbarrow Press, Call & Response brings together haiku poetry by 10 writers: Angelina Ayers, Matthew Clegg, Abigail Flint, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite, Mary Marken, Andrew Myers and Ruth Palmer.

All of these poems are inspired by the mysterious beauty of bird calls and songs.

Haiku poetry is the ideal form in which to express this natural phenomenon. Limited to a number of syllables and lines, haiku comprise small, compact parcels of information – much, in fact, like birdsong – creating rhythmical word pictures that have the power to stir emotions, particularly when evoking the passage of the seasons.

Each day from 20-30 September 2012 we posted two new haiku poems on Twitter (@Callhaiku). Recordings of the poets reading each haiku were simultaneously uploaded to our SoundCloud site. Over the course of 11 days this built into a cumulative dawn chorus of surprising lyrical invention and beauty.

Musician and producer Michael Harding has now created a new arrangement of the work, integrating the original haiku recordings with music composed specifically for this project: a setting in which ‘whinchats flit and whirr, / throwing out short jags of song /to tether the air’ (Chris Jones). Listen to the new version of Call & Response below:

Call & Response was one of a series of creative collaborations between Paul Evans and Professor Tim Birkhead from the University of Sheffield Department of Animal and Plant Sciences. These collaborative works featured as part of the inaugural University of Sheffield Festival of the Mind (20-30 September 2012).

The Festival of the Mind is a collaboration between the City and the University of Sheffield which showcases its cultural strengths. For more information please go to http://festivalofthemind.group.shef.ac.uk (and follow on Twitter: @FestivalMind).

A sliver of moon,
breeze whispering with the trees,
owl calls haunt the night.

Mary Marken

Call & Response bird image by Paul Evans
Haiku edited and sequenced by Brian Lewis
Recordings by Brian Lewis
Web design and management by Brian Lewis
Twitter feed by Brian Lewis

One comment

  1. Just stumbled upon this via Twitter. This sounds like a fascinating project. I’m looking forward to hearing the accumulation!

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