Recently I’ve turned to film and video poetry as a means of synthesizing my interests in writing, filmmaking, and voice. I love the freedom of performing my own camera and editing work without the pressures of fundraising involved in creating larger film projects or art gallery exhibitions. My research into global film/video poetry communities and venues inspires me to make new work in this field. In 2022 my experimental cine-poem, temporal assemblages, was nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 20th Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, and that year also awarded a Special Mention at the 10th International Video Poetry Festival, in Athens, Greece. I’ve since completed two new film poems, featuring my spoken word texts with music by my longtime collaborator, Malcolm Lewis. 

3 short films about love is triptych of three short pieces, each about a minute in length, exploring moods generated by the transitory nature of love.

What Remains combines images from my Super-8 film work with recent digital recordings. Images from large scale public art spectacles perform ecological settings and the poem questions the role of human capital in constructing our histories.

10th Annual Video Poetry Festival, Athens

This month I had the pleasure of attending the 10th Annual Video Poetry Festival,  organized by The Institute for Experimental Arts, in Athens, Greece. The festival programmed my short film poem, temporal assemblages (2022) and it had a fabulous lineup of film and video projects, live performances, workshops and talks, poetry readings – a fun-filled four days with great people and an open and friendly vibe. I met people from many countries and enjoyed walking around the ancient city with its centuries of ruins counterpoised with miles of colourful graffiti, some of it quite beautiful.

new film: temporal assemblages

My new film temporal assemblages (2022) is an ecological video poem exploring human presence and absence in ‘natural’ and ‘produced’ spaces. A meditation on impermanence and the transience of place, the title is inspired by assemblage art, where found elements from existing artworks are reconstituted into new artworks. Here the work features sampling from an archive of media recordings produced over a long personal artistic practice, from analogue photography, Super-8mm and 16mm film recordings, early video and sound, and mixing obsolete technologies with new recordings. Fragments of spoken word blend with scientific nomenclature in onscreen text, embedding ecological histories with the material constituents of the scene. A version of the prologue, Entering the Lake, was first published as video poetry in 2017, in The Goose, official publication of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC). With music by Malcolm Lewis.

temporal assemblages will screen at the 20th Female Eye Film Festival in June, 2022 in Toronto, and in September at the Institute for Experimental Arts 10th Annual International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece, . 

Trailer: temporal assemblages 


visual essay

1-Four Shovels, Jackfish Harbour, 2012

Four Shovels, Jackfish Harbour, 2012

Here is a link to a new visual essay, Among the Ruins, published in the online journal The Goose (2018). An early version of this work was presented at the 2011 Green Words/Green Worlds conference in Toronto. The images were shown as part of  the 2013 exhibition, Abject Transformations, at Arcadia Art Gallery, Toronto.

Flânerie in Detroit


Detroit, 2017

In June I attended a conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery, at Wayne State University in Detroit. I presented media and writing from my project in progress, Borderland Memories in Lower Silesia. It was my first time back to Detroit in many years and my only previous encounter with the city was at the Greyhound bus depot, en route to Ann Arbor Film Festival. As I walked among the ruins and some wonderful old architectures, I found myself in a city of hidden stories with much heart. Filmmaker Patrick Keiller wrote, “The present day flâneur carries a camera” and travels in some kind of vehicle (The View From the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes, 2013).

traveling films

A traveling film festival goes to some interesting places that a big metropolitan festival does not. There’s culture in the rural, and expanded landscapes inform regional communities. Conversations on the Lakean environmental documentary about the rural places of my childhood in towns bordering Lake Superior, has screened in several Northern Ontario venues and festivals, traveled through parts of India in Voices From the Waters, and in rural southern USA locations in the Ozark Shorts Film Festival, Ozark Mountains regional festival, USA. 

These rural communities are participants in helping to shape critical environmental discourses around water, land, and community, within multi-vocal themes and expressions.

Manitouwadge Lake with Red Pole

Manitouwadge Lake with Red Pole, 2012

northern journeys…

Distance is measured differently in places where the land is wide with many spaces mostly populated by more than human others. In Northern Ontario where I grew up, we could visit our neighbours two hundred kilometers away for lunch and be home later that day for supper. Now I live in Toronto where driving a mere ninety kilometers north constitutes a road trip. Recently I was north again, to participate as a mentor on workshops about knowledge mobilization and multi-media, produced by Docs North in Thunder Bay, home of the Bay Street Film Festival, and some of us there had a conversation about how distance is embodied in the north for those who live there, and still for those of us who went south …

NORTHLAND-Red Motel, 2004

NORTHLAND-Red Motel, 2004

                             “Red Motel” (2005) from the series Northland.

conference presentation

I am presenting my published writing, reading from the chapter I contributed to Working on Earth: Class and Environmental Justice (2015), on a conference panel with the book’s editors, Christina Robertson and Jennifer Westerman (see post on the book below). The conference is How Class Works, at the Center for Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, June 9-11, 2016. For conference information go here:

Much of my doctoral research was focused on themes of class, beginning with the work of cultural theorist Raymond Williams, that great proponent of lifelong learning founded in public pedagogy and open, shared knowledge. As early as the 1950s, Williams supported new media and film as democratizing educational technologies that, though polluted by commercial interests, can also promote a more critically engaged general public (see McIlroy & Westwood (1993). Border country: Raymond Williams in adult education. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.)

In the neoliberal global marketplace, the rhetoric of classlessness persists as a cultural imaginary. Meanwhile class divisions continue to be reproduced as economic inequalities intensify for much of today’s workforce, whatever their colour of collar, those fated to increasingly precarious employment. As we journey ever more deeply into environmental collapse, let us keep our spirits up as we continue to produce and engage with works and means of challenging that trajectory of doom.

Mining cart

NORTHLAND: Old Mine Cart (2007)

Our conference panel is called “Working on Earth: Essays on Class, Environment, Community & Justice” on Friday, June 10 at 3:45 PM.

This promises to be a timely and important discussion, and I’m happy to be part of the conversation as I look forward to a wealth of great presentations.

A new film by Michael Zweig, Director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life, tells the story of how international worker solidarity changed labour law in Iraq, guaranteeing rights such as collective bargaining, and prohibiting sexual harassment at work, and child labour. The entire short film can be seen here:

I recently saw The Measure of a Man (2015) , a cinematic masterwork by Stéphane Brizé, which brilliantly interrogates themes of class. Here we witness a Foucauldian panoptical reality, as Snowden’s nightmare and Orwellian fantasy collide in a fusion of complex ethical struggles and human grace.

Image: “Old Mine Cart” (2007) from the series Northland, by Edie Steiner.

book review

Here is another book review I’ve written for The Goose – a publication by the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC). The text is Adrian J. Ivakhiv’s  “Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature.” For serious film studies or ecological cinema studies readers, this book is an amazing resource. Read my review at: