Multispecies Poetry: An upcoming presentation by Dr. Mara-Daria Cojocaru
Mara-Daria Cojocaru, PhD is a poet and philosopher as well as a PAN Works Fellow and Writer in Virtual Residence. With an expertise in animal ethics and politics, she studies human-animal relations with a focus on the impacts of interspecies relationships on the lives of humans and animals. Informed by the notion of potentialism, Mara explores multispecies interactions through her writing and scholarship — and is at work on a new project on animal-assisted philosophy.
In this upcoming event on 22 February, Mara will share her discoveries in multispecies poetry at the National Poetry Library in London, presenting poems co-created by dog-human teams across the world. Thinking about scent and canine agency in poetry, Mara will show how dogs conceptualize language through the lens of what they value, what they perceive, and how they might experience the world through human-focused language alongside vision and olfaction. According to Mara, poetry has always been prompted by — and written about — animals. She explores in-depth the relationship that dogs have with their worlds through their senses, their perceptions of the language used to communicate with them by humans, and their individual personalities and experiences of their — and our — worlds. In creating scent-based and visual experimental poems that dogs could read, too, Mara shows how — while human language is important to dogs — often what we communicate and what they perceive are two very different things. Critically, through simple but effective methods including scent-walks, contact lying and various forms of play, Mara and her collaborators have co-produced poems founded upon canine agency and subjectivity. This project brings to light new ideas about what dogs, as a species and as individuals, are interested in — and is a means of getting other humans curious about the values, interests, and lived experiences of dogs (and their needs, therein). This work is vital to deepening human understanding of other animals and our collective dedication, at PAN Works, to animal wellbeing.
This brief video gives a glimpse into the works and ideas Mara will share at the event.
We are fortunate to have Mara as one of our fellows, and hope you will spread the word about this dynamic and timely event. Learn more about Mara’s work at her website.
Kim Hightower is a humane educator and the communications specialist for PAN Works.
Please visit PAN Works for more about our work on ethics and animal wellbeing.