South West Poetry Tour #4 – J.R. Carpenter & Camilla Nelson

The South West Poetry Tour was a 5 day collaborative initiative curated by Camilla Nelson and Steven Fowler in August 2016. The tour consisted of collaborative poetic performances at The Barbara Hepworth Museum (St Ives), The Poly (Falmouth), Schumacher College (Dartington), Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (Bath) and Hauser & Wirth Somerset (Bruton). In addition to the collaborative efforts of the 6 touring poets – JR Carpenter, John Hall, Matti Spence, Annabel Banks, Camilla Nelson and SJ Fowler – the project featured work by 60 emerging and established poets from across the region. Supported by Arts Council England, The South West Poetry Tour has commissioned over 60 new works as part of its ambition to forge creative links between poets, artists, arts organisations and audiences locally, regionally and nationally. We are delighted to be able to share a small selection of these works through this special South West Poetry Tour edition of The Clearing.

There are Many Reasons for Planting Trees                  [for two voices]


By careful selection, the gardener will find a tree for every situation.

A fruity grasp.

Plant in spring in moist, acid to neutral soil – if possible in town gardens, in sun or shade.

There is a season for rain-soaked skins.

Propagate by layering in autumn.

Propagate parched skin in summer months.

Pruning depends on the tree form.

Chlorophyll clouds out the light.


A tree introduces a feeling of proportion and perspective to a bland or uninteresting aspect.

The burp and growl of wood winds through you.

Plant in autumn in well-drained but moist soil – preferably in sun or shade.

There is a season for frost-bite, damp, branches bent rigid, withholding fruit.

Propagate by seeds sown in spring.

Propagate a red-mouth open wide.

Will tolerate light pruning.

There too many leaves. They crowd each other out.


Note on the Text

This text is a fragment, or two ‘stills,’ taken from the fully mobile web-based text available here.

J.R. Carpenter is an artist, writer, performer, researcher, and maker of maps, zines, books, poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, intertextual, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives. Her digital literature has been exhibited, published, performed, and presented in journals, galleries, museums, and festivals around the world. She is a winner of the CBC Quebec Writing Competition (2003 & 2005), the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award (2008), the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book (2008), and the Dot Award for Digital Literature (2015). She lives in Devon. 

Camilla Nelson is a language artist, researcher and collaborator across a range of disciplines.  Her current work includes Reading Movement, a movement language collaboration with Khaled Barghouthi (long-listed for The Leslie Scalapino Award) and Apples & Other Languages, a page-based collection (long-listed for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize) forthcoming with Knives Forks and Spoons. Camilla is founding editor of Singing Apple Press. She recently curated The South West Poetry Tour with Steven Fowler.

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