I loved reading the Nassau Weekly. It was my secret Thursday evening pleasure. I often saw Nassau Weekly editors and contributors at Terrace. I was in awe of their work, but I was very shy and dorky and did not feel cool enough to get to know them (except Randy because I met him before realizing he was an editor for the Nassau Weekly.) Nevertheless, by a mysterious force of irrepressible hubris, I managed to submit and get published several poems. They are strange and I still kind of like them. I have spent my career as a conservation ecologist, learning to write with an increasingly appalling lack of style — as is expected in that field. I have published about 47 journal articles. I don’t write poetry anymore. I’m not sure why. Possibly I feel a little alienated from English, as if all my languages were second languages now. On the other hand, in the past few years I have met, collaborated with, and played with many anthropologists and artists, which has reinvigorated my art practice. I have been learning silkscreen printing at a workshop not far from my apartment in Paris, and I include one of my prints here. It is called “Ombra di pressione” and is a version of a work, originally a series of monotypes, that I made at an artist residency in Biella, Italy last year. The images represent different temporalities of transformation in the landscape. The birch, in yellow, is a pioneer species in the Alps. The beeches, in red, have formed a J-shape as a result of a past landslide. The lichens in black grow slowly on the surface of the rock exposed by alpine uplift. In blue you see a knot of quartz in the schist, in what is called a “pressure shadow” (hence the title,) or a pocket of low pressure where quartz could gradually form, as the rock was transformed around it.
Meredith Root-Bernstein ‘04, formerly a poetry contributor to the Nass, is now a conservation ecologist in Paris.