Snow in Summer

Poetic Teachings from Cottonwood and Ponderosa


  • Lee Beavington Kwantlen Polytechnic University



poetic inquiry, storytelling, trees, Carl Leggo, more-than-human


In this article art is used as inquiry to ask powerful questions, untangle paradoxes, and help us navigate loss and grief in the Anthropocene. Several central questions are considered and animated through narrative and poetry. How do we live poetically (Leggo, 2005) in a world that we need to exploit in order to survive? How do we engage in a more-than-human world full of ambiguity and paradox? How might nature become a teacher or mentor (Jickling et al., 2018), and what anthropocentric barriers do we face? How can stories and poems facilitate holistic expression and place-based connection? As we elucidate the wonder and loss of cottonwood, and the mentorship of ponderosa, Carl Leggo (2004, 2005, 2012, 2016, 2019a, 2019b) serves as a guide for artful attending and hopeful imagination for living poetically. Joanna Macy’s (Macy & Johnstone, 2012; Macy & Brown, 2014) work that reconnects and Leggo’s curriculum of joy offer parallel paths of grief and hope so that we might find our way through the Anthropocene.

Author Biography

Lee Beavington, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Lee Beavington, PhD, is an award-winning author, learning strategist, and interdisciplinary instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and Simon Fraser University. He is currently co-developing a stɑl̓əw̓ (Fraser River) Field School and spearheading KPU Wild Spaces to promote place-based outdoor learning in higher education. He also served as co-curator for the Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver, recipient of the Award of Merit for Excellence in Exhibitions. He has published poetry in RefugiumSweet Water, Langscape Magazine, Ecopsychology, Poetic Inquiry: Enchantments of Place, and Scientists and Poets Resist.  



How to Cite

Beavington, L. (2022). Snow in Summer: Poetic Teachings from Cottonwood and Ponderosa. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 7(2), 519–541.