Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists

In Memory: Jökull
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a rawlings

April 22, 7pm

As part of our ongoing Parapoetics Project, BDP is proud to announce that we will be publishing Canadian / Icelandic poet and artist a rawlings' next book Áfall / Trauma later this year. In Áfall / Trauma breast cancer becomes a vessel to experience a ‘theatre of the rural’- isolating, intimate, discomfiting - where the private commons are a stage for semi-public conversation between and about a person and a person and a land.

On april the 22nd, rawlings will be performing at Büro BDP from her first book Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists, marking the 10th anniversary of the publication. Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists is a poetic fantasia, a disorienting yet compelling dreamscape of butterflies, caterpillars and killing jars. Rawlings' performance practice seeks and interrogates relational empathy between bodies, and create a sensation for a body that may be human and/or may be lepidoptoral, as the lines between these species often blur. The work suggests a common somatic experiences shared by human and nonhuman species. By foregrounding the physicality of both sounding and reading words, the work highlights the manners in which language participate in the processes of the biosphere — processes of predation and consumption, of metamorphosis and decay, of reproduction, development, and evolution.


a rawlings is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, and arts educator. rawlings' poetry publications include Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006) and Gibber (a digital publication, 2012). Her libretti include Bodiless (for composer Gabrielle Herbst, 2014) and Longitude (for composer Davíð Brynjar Franzson, 2014). In 2013, her work Áfall / Trauma was shortlisted for the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights. Recently, she led a six-month writing workshop for Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature which has resulted in the formation of Ós, a multilingual writing collective. rawlings holds a BA in Creative Writing from York University, where she received the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing. She also holds an MS in Environmental Ethics and Natural Resource Management from the University of Iceland. She resides in Reykjavík.