Hear from Dr. Daniel Coleman, from the department of English, who will be reading an excerpt from his book, Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place.
Location: Dr. Robert and Andrée Rhéaume Fitzhenry Atrium in Togo Salmon Hall, McMaster University
Opening reception of MacMarsh Art Projects exhibition at 12:30 p.m.
Daniel Coleman is looking to find a home. After a childhood that left him feeling placeless, he ended up in Hamilton, Ontario, one of Canada’s most polluted cities at the time. Yardwork is his attempt to put down roots in a place he never expected to be. Coleman decided he wanted to truly know and belong to a small piece of land, his patch of garden on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, to deeply understand its ecology, landscape and history. Starting with the creation myths and geology, moving through the settler era and up to the present, Coleman pours his considerable talents into learning, and sharing, as much of the story of the land as possible. Most books on ecology focus either on protecting the wilderness or analyzing a toxic dump. Most books on gardens focus on plant health or landscape design. Most books on Indigenous-settler relations focus on politics or social inequities. Yardwork meditates on the sedimentary layers of ecological, cultural and political stories that make up Hamilton, the escarpment city at the Head of the Lake. Along the way Coleman strives to build a new awareness of the place where he lives as sacred land.
This event is a part of Paradise Revisited series. McMaster University’s natural lands and environs are the setting for an ambitious, multi-faceted, six-month-long initiative which welcomes faculty, staff, students and community members to re-acquaint themselves with our rich landscape
Activities include field trips, panel discussions, lectures, readings, art activities and exhibitions. Participants are provided with sketchbooks to document their observations; and these sketchbooks will be shared at a showcase on October 25.