Elizabeth Copeland selected as 2018 ArtScape Artist-In-Residence

by JFI staff

The Joggins Fossil Institute is pleased to announce that author and poet Elizabeth Copeland, Sackville, New Brunswick, was recently selected as the 2018 Literary Artist for the ArtScape Artist-In-Residence Program.

Copeland’s Rock Whisperers project combines research and writing plus workshops (for all ages) to create a chapbook of poetry which examines the question of what the Joggins Fossil Cliffs have to teach us in terms of human interconnectedness with life at this critical junction in the Earth’s history.

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Elizabeth Copeland has over 35 years’ experience as a professional writer, theatre artist, and artist facilitator. Her poetry, essays and prose have been published in a variety of publications including Forge Journal, Circa-A Journal of Historical Fiction and The Furious Gazelle. An excerpt from her novel Traeh Gnul—Miranda’s Journey from the Great Forest won the 2014 Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Young Adult Fiction Award. Her novella, Jazz, won the Ken Klonsky Novella Prize and was short-listed for the 2015 ReLit Award. With the support of Mount Allison University, she is currently working on a spoken-word theatre piece entitled Bearing Witness.

Copeland facilitates creative writing workshops in community and organizational settings and was, in 2016, a featured presenter at the Knowlton Literary Festival and the San Miguel Writers’ Conference. Through the Writers in the Schools Program, she brings the joys of creative writing to students throughout New Brunswick.

Jury members for ArtScape 2018 were Denis Corey (Chief Librarian, Cumberland Public Libraries), Ian McKinley (Montreal author), and Laurie Glenn Norris (Education and Outreach Manager with the Joggins Fossil Institute).

Melissa Grey, Curator/Director of Science says, “We are thrilled to offer our second Artist-in-Residence to such an inspired and experienced author. Collaborations between artists and scientists are incredibly productive and we look forward to another stimulating addition to the Institute.”

ArtScape is an outreach initiative that invites visual, literary and performing artists to explore the relationships between the human experience and the natural world at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The residency benefits artists by providing the time, financial support and space to enable them to better focus on their work. In return the local area and Centre visitors will have the opportunity to engage with artists through studio visits, workshops and other public programming.

Elizabeth is tentatively scheduled to undertake her residency between Monday, May 21, and Friday, June 29, 2018, inclusive.

Elizabeth Copeland’s proposed work plan Rock Whisperers includes:

  • Researching the local geography, flora and fauna and other living things in central Pangea (at Joggins’ approximate location today) during the coal age;
  • Composing a suite of poem;
  • Scheduling and organizing three poetry-writing workshops;
  • Initiating “community poem” programme;
  • Visitors creating their own “community poems” in the public space provided;
  • The facilitating three workshops: one free full-day workshop for adults, one free ½-day workshop for teens and one free ½-day workshop for children 8–12.
  • Editing of selected poems for chapbook;
  • Holding public poetry readings.

More information on ArtScape 2018:

The ArtScape Artist-In-Residence Program is contingent upon funding.