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Stitching Earthly Scars

"With the internet a constant berating feed of information, facts, and graphics on climate change, we have become deeply desensitized to the troubles of our world. While we know it's an issue, it's hard to find a connection to it. There is one tool that breaks through the noise and motivates us to action: art." ~ Meryl Prendergast, director, editor, fashion designer.

I was lucky enough to be the lead poet in the Boston based, independent fashion project, "Stitching Earthly Scars". I had the opportunity to collaborate with a team of twelve artists to create a project about the US environmental crisis. The poetry I wrote was based on photo, journal, and video ephemera captured by the Director during a cross-country road trip. My poetry premiered in the multi-faceted film at the Distillery Gallery for the entire month of April 2022!

You can view the project in full, as well as the film,


For each of the four biomes (Waterways, Forest, Grasslands, Desert) I was given snippets of the rough cuts, photos, and information on what was being captured in both the film and clothing. From this, I was able to craft the poems in a way that Meryl felt accurately represented the feeling she hoped to get across. 

In Waterways, this was presented as 

  • Flooding because of rising sea levels (especially Louisiana)

  • Oil spills, especially in the gulf of mexico and the ocean being on fire

  • Trash in the ocean

  • Species dying from this oil and trash


I received a rough cut of the choreographed dance piece by Elise Piliponis, with her and fellow actor Devon Whitney acting as personified nature; They are simultaneously so powerful, and so powerless.

Meryl then created art incorporating a few of the poems. These poems were also read by the actors in the film, so it was important that the poem spoke well as well as looked aesthetically accurate.

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In the Forest biome, Meryl wanted to highlight two very important issues:

  • The major clear cutting of the southeast coast for wood pellets

    • The greenwashing of wood pellets, as they actually produce more carbon emissions than coal​​​

  • The rising occurrence of severe forest fires, caused both by rising temperatures and careless humans


Her and sound designer Ben Harris wanted to use war sounds for this part of the film, inspired by Smokey the Bear “Only you can prevent forest fires” and how that reminded them of the propaganda of war. She said that they wanted to highlight the cacophony of cutting down mass amounts of trees, and the eerie silence that comes afterwards.

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In regards to the grasslands, we were tackling the horrific issue of CAFOs, or expansive farms that cramp thousands of cows in close quarters where they're forced to sit in their own poop, are fattened up with cheap corn, and then killed. Land bleaching and agricultural runoff, with the mass overuse of chemicals, is also all too common for these areas. I wanted to capture the vile, inhumane feeling of these issues while also acknowledging the breathtaking beauty of the area: what a dichotomy at play. 

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Each biome seems to hold this dichotomy of beauty and disaster; this holds true with the desert as well. It offers striking sunsets and unique plants, but is also a large part of the oil industrial complex. Oil is a limited resource, but rigs continue to dig and suck the ground dry. Big businesses don't care about the damage they're doing, as long as it makes them money. And quickly rising temperatures are putting the plants and animals of the region at risk, threatening biodiversity. 

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