Rebecca Baird‘s poetic contribution for the River Deep Mountain High exhibition is displayed in the case containing the feather star specimen which inspired her musings. We can’t physically enjoy the exhibition at the moment but we can do so virtually.
You can watch a reading of her poem, followed by an analysis from Rebecca, in the video below:
Crinoid – of Discovery by Rebecca Baird
“My writing flits between poetry and prose but is nearly always concerned with the act of mythologizing people or places through language. The feather star specimen appealed to me as an object to write about after I learned its name – to me ‘feather star’ is a perfect juxtaposition of the organic everyday and the celestial unknown. Myth-making is all about the details, and being able to examine a feather star allowed me to see its part in a tradition of research, and play with specific, scientific language alongside more traditionally ‘poetic’ ideas. Also, the archive as an entity concretised lofty ideas of ‘Science’ and ‘History’ into a physical location, which brought home to me a sense of Dundee’s identity as a true ‘City of Discovery’.”
Rebecca Baird is from the far-flung land of Falkirk. She is currently doing a Masters in Writing Practice and Study at the University, following an undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing. She now works as a sub-editor for The Courier newspaper.
River Deep Mountain High was an exhibition in the University’s Lamb Gallery to mark the Year of Coast and Water curated by Archive Services. Artists, designers and creative writers were invited to respond to the University’s rich archive, museum and rare book collections on the themes of rivers, seas, coasts and mountains. Original photographs, journals, plans, models and specimens relating to whaling, the River Tay, the natural world and mountaineering inspired jewellery, artwork, sculpture, poetry and much more.