Lorenzo Series Kicks Off with Wayne Clifford

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The Lorenzo Society kicked off the series with Wayne Clifford reading from his collection of poetry, Flying the Truck, last Thursday in the Hazen Hall Lecture Theatre.

At a small and intimate reading, Clifford read from his 14th volume of poetry, Flying the Truck, and other works, including The Exile’s Papers and Learning to Dance with a Peg Leg. Afterward, he answered questions from the audience about his time with the Bioblitz, which the poetry collection is based upon, as well as his writing process, providing fascinating insight into both worlds.

Photo: Lexy Harquail

Inspired by his time with the New Brunswick Museum and his participation in the Grand Lake Protected Area Bioblitz in 2013 and 2014, Clifford’s poetry attempts to bridge the obvious gap between science and art by describing the quirks and anomalies of bats, frogs, spiders and other animals. Beauty and technique cross pollinate Flying the Truck as Clifford writes about the complexities of the people that he met and the work that they did.

Don McAlpine, the Head of the Department of Natural Science at the New Brunswick Museum says that bridging the artistic and scientific gap is vital. “As a society, we need to better connect with nature. Perhaps science connected with art–or is it art connected with science?–can help us do that.”

“As in every year that we’ve investigated protected areas in New Brunswick, we found species new to the region, new to the continent, and even new to science,” McAlpine explains. “In both of those years Wayne Clifford, trembling poet-intrepid, joined us. And like any good poet, Wayne peeled back the obvious, looking to the essence and the deeper mystery behind incident, form, and number.”

Photo: Lexy Harquail

The next scheduled Lorenzo reading is on September 26th and will feature author Patti LaBoucane-Benson and illustrator Kelly Mellings reading from and discussing their book The Outside Circle at 7:00 pm in the Ganong Hall Lecture. Refreshments will be provided & all readings are free and open to the public.