Winnipeg’s street trees were recently hosts for three infestations: cankerworm, elm spanworm, and tent caterpillars. Which meant most Winnipeggers ate/wore worms for weeks at a time. The worst-hit trees had their leaves eaten down to the stem, which means they’ve spent July growing a new canopy’s worth of leaves…
The mature elm outside Tallest Poppy is middle-aged, anywhere from 70 to 100 years old. It’s survived round after round of construction, billows of pollution, drought, even gig posters stapled to it.
In TreeTalk, my Tallest Poppy Residency July 29 & 30, I’ll work with/next to the tree to add a new layer of leaves to our ideas on street trees.
Throughout the weekend, I’ll work on the Tallest Poppy patio, composing snippets of poems which I'lll hang from the tree using paper and string. Passersby will be invited to TreeTalk too — their secrets / one-liners / meditations / haiku will also be hung from the tree.
Along the way, I’ll will document the leaves via photography. I’ll ask people in her Winnipeg and Canadian networks to add leaves via comments on social media.
By the end of the weekend, the tree will have a new, temporary coat of leaves, as ephemeral/beautiful as the original. It will be infested with words/ideas. I’ll compile all the texts into a found poetry piece, which will be launched at the First Friday After Party at Tallest Poppy on August 4, 2017.
On Sunday, July 30, I’ll hold a one-hour writing workshop, where people are invited to come and TreeTalk, writing poems and letters to the tree.