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The ‘we’ of DIRT is poets Alice Willitts and JLM Morton. Alice is also a professional gardener and soil nerd. Juliette created and runs Dialect Writers supporting rural writers and Dialect publishes DIRT. Alice lives in the East of England on the agricultural Fens. Juliette lives in the West of England in the lush, watery vales. Soil and water.
When we partnered to propose DIRT we wondered if anyone would be interested in our experimental, plantable poetry. We decided to launch the idea with a crowdfunder because… we’re insane? Noooo! Because we hoped it was a great way to find support and maybe start a community that would be interested in the project longterm. It was nerve-wracking but to our delight, many inquisitive patrons signed up to support our research into how we might make plantable poetry and work out a model for paying poets to collaborate.
Thanks to that crowd sourced support, we’ve been able to run the prototype. This meant walking ourselves through the writing process we envisage for commissioned poets and understanding the printing side of things. We’re printing with vegetable inks on compostable, plantable paper accompanied by poppy seeds collected from Alice’s garden. The journey to this point has been delightful and full of challenges. Substack is a good place to tell the origin story, share our philosophy and reflect on how it works in practice. In time there will be guest posts from poets writing for the project too.
Copies available from: https://dialectwriters.bigcartel.com/product/dirt-poetry
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translation: people who like waffling on about ‘the same kind of shit’ as you. Which in this case is worthy, hair-shirt shit that makes the point that shit is exactly what’s needed to turn the dead soil we call dirt back into healthy, microbe and bacteria rich, fertile land that can support ALL life on earth. No biggie.
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