Robyn Maree Pickens

Art writer, poet, curator and PhD candidate

During my residency I will be working on a research-based poetry project. I will examine Hannah Arendt’s theory amor mundi (love of the world) to see whether it can inform ecological poetry (poetry that is directed towards the unfolding socio-ecological crisis). Theoretically and poetically, can I develop an “eco-poetics of love” based on Arendt’s amor mundi? The location of Mynämäki—with its warming climate and reduced snowfall—is one important place to consider theoretical and creative approaches to the Anthropocene.

At Saari, I expect to develop a nuanced understanding of Arendt’s amor mundi; to read closely the work of eco-poets such as CAConrad; to attune and respond to the unique ecology of Mynämäki, and to write a selection of poems based on these themes.

Robyn Maree Pickens is an art writer, poet, curator, and text-based practitioner. Robyn’s art writing has appeared in ArtAsiaPacific online, ANZJA, Art + Australia online, The Pantograph Punch, Art New Zealand and exhibition catalogues. Her most recent curatorial project (“Bright Cave” 2018) was presented at Blue Oyster, Dunedin (NZ). Robyn’s poetry has appeared in Into the Void, Peach Mag, SAND Berlin, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Matador Review, Jacket 2, and at ARTSPACE, Auckland (NZ). She was a finalist of the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles, winner of the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2018, and a finalist of the inaugural Leeds Brotherton Poetry Prize 2019. Her poetry criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi and Jacket 2. Her most recent text-based work was exhibited at Te Tuhi, Auckland (December 2018 – March 2019). Currently Robyn is a PhD candidate in ecological aesthetics at the University of Otago, and an art reviewer for the Otago Daily Times and Art News (NZ). The UK poet laureate will launch the Leeds Brotherton Poetry Anthology (published by Carcanet Press) in March 2020.