Vigilance Is No Orchard

An experimental poem sequence inspired by a famous garden now in ruin.



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Additional information

Weight 0.3875 lbs
Dimensions 7 × .2 × 8.4 in

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.



I was interested in this generous or ethical idea of a book as a place you might be welcomed into, like a ‘refuge.’ I was also very moved by the book as [a] site, also, of immutual ‘encounters’ that aren’t, always or necessarily, productive or easily explored. ‘This wants not to be a strong narrative,’ writes Hazel White, deep in her project of place, Vigilance Is No Orchard. But also: …real work is hospitality.’

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ISBN: 978-1-937658-82-3
paperback, 112 pages, 7 x 9 in
Publication Date: 2018

Exquisitely alert to the realities of natural environments, White’s book is among the most interesting of the new nature writing.

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Hazel White is also the author of Peril as Architectural Enrichment. Her public work includes presentations at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
and Headlands Center for the Arts …

More about Hazel White