Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Each anagrammatic poem in this series recycles the same 258 letters, first gleaned from ad copy on the back of a FIJI water bottle. The chapbook’s title, PLASTIC ARTS, matches this origin and points to the project’s sculptural nature, engaged with pressing the alternately pliant and obstinate letters into shape. That process becomes a testing ground for probing the enchanted, enchanting boundary between image and material, collecting riverstones and admiring mutant fish.
"PLASTIC ARTS is a shapeshifting wonder: a tender protest and a dazzling exploration of freedom and constraint. Through these playful, provocative poems, Ben Lorenz reclaims an ecopoetics of delight."
Ben Lorenz is an Oregon-grown poet, actor, and teacher living in Brooklyn. He studied literature and environmental science at Harvard, where his thesis imagined a doubly ‘environmental’ form of site-specific theatre, re-enchanting the more-than-human world to assert its agency. An inveterate collector of discarded objects, he believes that poetry, like theater, can defamiliarize the everyday, asking us to look askance at what we’ve come to take for granted—and transfiguring a plastic bottle into fertile soil. At the very least, it can plant a seed.