Go to page content

Waste Ground

Celebrating N.L.'s over-looked and under-loved plants

Research | Books at Memorial

A patch of waste ground, so-called, often proves to be a teeming ground, noisy with green power.

Repositories of myth, nutrition, and healing properties, the plants of Waste Ground proclaim their worth, some of them directly addressing the reader in tones of pride, wit, and, occasionally, bitterness at their fallen state.

Joe Pye weed and parsley

Waste Ground, a new chapbook written by acclaimed poet and professor of English, Mary Dalton, and produced by the Tors Cove-based micropress, Running the Goat Books and Broadsides, celebrates the properties and possibilities of green storehouses such as nettles, sorrel, dog roses, yarrow, and hops.

As a 13-poem series it develops further some of the strategies employed in the earlier riddling sequences by Prof. Dalton, “I’m Bursting to Tell” in Red Ledger and Between You and the Weather, a previous chapbook released by Running the Goat Books and Broadsides, in 2008.

Riddle-like poems

The illustrations created by Massachusetts wood engraver Abigail Rorer for the project, consisting of three full page engravings and one spot engraving, complement the animism of this set of riddle-like poems.

Ms. Rorer’s preoccupation with the multifaceted energies of the plant world can be seen in her illustrations for Mimpish Squeenies and other botanical works. Her work can be seen at The Lone Oak website.

Waste Ground is letterpress printed on Zerkall Book, with end papers of Matsuo Kozo; the cover paper is St. Armand Bougainvillia. It is hand sewn in an edition of not more than 250 copies.