Katy Bentall Reads “Oregano & Thyme” from “Greenwriting”
“Preserved in glass, / how smell can travel in time”
After a consistently invigorating two-year-long collaboration with poet-artist Katy Bentall, and a spring-spanning spate of sessions with graphic designer Pilar Rojo, it feels bloody amazing (bloody like juicy fruit) to type these words: Greenwriting by Katy Bentall is printed and bound, out and about, ready to be HELD and sniffed, and carried in a (somewhat loose) pocket.
Communal release will be at Mikromiasto in Warsaw, on Thursday, June 30 beginning at 7 p.m., with Katy and I in conversation about the greenwriting/Greenwriting process going back to the project’s serendipitous beginnings. In the meantime, the “compact and fragrant” 192-page paperback is available through our website and across the archipelago of allied independent bookshops.
A punnet-packed seasonal weave of Katy’s prose, poetry, drawings, and watercolors about rhythms and routines—both her own and those of others carefully observed—in the Polish countryside, Greenwriting, bit by bit, covers a lot. Reflecting and refracting the lives and locales she grows to know, Katy has a knack for getting to the core of something: an object with history, an individual’s body language, a whole place.
Still, even as Katy gets to the point, she does not chisel it. She gives people, birds, insects, and the occasional kiosk the space to self-animate, to morph, to hide in plain sight, to self-contradict, to wake up in the wrong season, to vanish from one trip into town to the next—although not without a bit of attentive, affirmative notebook documentation before it’s too late.
I must remember to tell all this to my children, or someone, so the old lady in her teddy bear hut isn’t forgotten.
And now we have begun mailing bunches of Greenwriting out into the world in a great giddy scattering of Katy Bentall’s seeds, butterflies (some dead but that’s how it goes), pencil shavings, windfall fruit thunking your head, “cloth bundles stuffed with herbs, hay, and dried peas and beans,” smoked pears, nettle powder for tea (mind the buried ants), and ravens, boars, and neighbors, oh my!