Dead Rabbits, Live Newts

What a rare privilege to be at work and walks here among such a wild profusion of intelligence, inventiveness and ethos. The poet Robert Creeley once said that you forge ahead, writing poems “because you care about the kind of world you live in.” What I have found here at Djerassi with my cohort is a burgeoning sense of world-building, made of scientific and artistic imagination.

Not art

bullet casing (1) I’m interested in the idea of trash–how we humans deal (or refuse to deal) with waste. At Djerassi there are many gorgeous and interesting art installations that are numbered and mapped for viewing. I want to focus on what is discarded here.


On a walk during the first days here with four of my co-residents our conversation was peppered with references to authors, artists and movies.  This struck me as one of the ways that we were getting to know one another and that, along with my cataloging instincts, led me to collect the following list of recommendations from each resident + two of the Djerassi staff (Celia and Alice).  I began the list the evening of that first walk and the last entries were provided yesterday.


On Sunday at Djerassi we did an open rehearsal of our show Daughhters of Hypatia about the struggles of women in mathematics, but I find unsettling contradictions. I ended this year at the college at which I teach taking part in a day-long workshop on privilege; the discussions were intense and emotional, we heard many dismaying stories of racist, sexist, and homophobic incidents, some intense, others slight but still upsetting. The same week I learned that our math department had lost a third recently hired tenure track woman faculty member; all three were through resignations.