An experimental poem sequence inspired by a famous garden now in ruin. In Vigilance is No Orchard, Hazel White records her haunting romance with the Valentine Garden, created by landscape architect Isabelle Greene in the foothills of Santa Barbara, California. Jealous of its maker’s power to affect a dynamic experience of space, White tries to make language play faithfully in the game coursing between the body and Greene’s fiercely stirring landscape. Both the poems and the constructed landscape they describe are complex and explorative, never simplified. Instead their interests are survival, forage and repair, the act of making, accumulation and overflow that results in flowering and eventually gives way to loss.
Hazel White’s new poetry manuscript, Vigilance Is No Orchard, is a finalist for the 2015 National Poetry Series. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in VERSE, Denver Quarterly, Fence, and New American Writing. She and Denise Newman received a Creative Work Fund grant for a poetry installation at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden.