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Summer Writing Resident Hiram Larew: Woodlawn So

August 14, 2019

Hiram Larew was the second writer of the summer 2019 cohort to spend a week onsite participating in our local residency program at Northern Virginia's Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House and Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. Our summer writers-in-residence focus their weeks on-site exploring ways to rediscover and repurpose place and place histories, and use writing as a means to build community, to bring awareness to critical social and environmental issues, and as a creative force of empowerment.

 

Hiram Larew initiated Poetry X Hunger to bring poetry more fully to bear on issues of hunger in the U.S. and around the world -- his involvement in this program spurred his interest in our residency. During his week at Woodlawn and Arcadia, Hiram invited three poets -- Lady Di Beverly, Patrick Washington, and Diane Parks -- from nearby Prince George's County to experience the site and collaborate creatively (pictured). Below are drafts of some of the work that Hiram began during his residency. You can read more about Hiram and his fellow residents here.

Woodlawn So

By: Hiram Larew

 

 

 

 

Underwood Smear

Slipped through ages’ speak

My voice of you feels ragged deep

     as dogs’ teeth might

     as ponds freeze do

My fingers twitch with certain you

My heart cuts in

My vision bones

   and all provides are haunting

Your gifted breath  

My relying yours

 

                 …

I kiss what was as questions

I ask myself what happened here

     in tree befuddled windows

What message is your me

Elbows jabbed the chant of life

      thinking back

And brandished skin or knife

Softly anger overhead


     in shadows cast to build

 

 

 

Life the Hills

 

Take care of my foliage such parents --

     Rest in these pages of windows

     Comfort the yellowed promise of planks

     Fold as scrub and spadings

     Ladle these days made for saving and

Acorn the wisdom below me

 

Every ply twine or fruit is a parent of

Every thorn loop cling is even beyond them

I fear the dares in mortar blooms

     My narrows steam with fancy

          and work looks down inside me

          or foods of sore surround

All my parents and the forest

Are mostly caused by lively blurring --

In leafing are the bolds

 

Split Light Pope-Leighey

I’ve cedared life off balance which

Blooms the light comes shadowings                                                                   

Where weeds of poke are lazy curved

The careless melt of bluing wings

The lingered angles

     and levers lit

Seem flatly fair and willing full

A living like a wedging

     that grows in shelves and dusts the smells

     and wakens shines of reds and tops

                     …

Such feet in wonder flying eyes

My try-to home my never cans

These living lines that porch and crink

My wanting strays my notions’ weeds

How to life with only ofs

With eye-wise greens of bricking

How can I closer doors

     or leaf through ways of yellowed sheen

In ways that gift the wood but trouble so

     how wonder can I open

How do I history feel this place

Hiram Larew is a retired Director of International Programs within U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Institute of Food and Agriculture where he helped guide several global hunger programs. He worked as an agricultural and higher education policy specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development and held short-term detail assignments at the U.S. Senate and at the U.S. Department of State where he worked closely with United Nations staff. His degrees are in horticulture (BS), botany (MS) and entomology (Ph.D.) He holds courtesy positions at Montana State University, University of Georgia, Baylor University and Oregon State University. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in many journals, anthologies and, in three collections. He reads his work widely, and has attended Breadloaf Writers Conference, The Catskills Poetry Workshop, Ropewalk Writers’ Conference and others. He’s been an invited resident poet at The Weymouth Center in North Carolina, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in 2018 at the Heinrich Böll Cottage in Ireland. A recipient of a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and an Individual Artist grant from the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council, he has also been nominated for four national Pushcart Prizes in poetry. He is a member of The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Poetry Board.

 

Follow Hiram on social | Facebook Hiram Larew, Poet

 

 

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