Creator: Chris Martin, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Carleton College. Northfield audio tours commissioned in association with the Northfield Poet Laureate.
Originally commissioned for Carleton’s 2016 Walking festival, Steps of the Sun was conceived as a binaural audio tour (in a style pioneered by Janet Cardiff) that could reawaken the listener’s interest in and curiosity about the Carleton campus. By taking a placemaking approach, this audio tour surfaces multiple levels of historical knowledge specific to Carleton College and then connects them to global ideas about measurement, the body, disability, literature, elegy, astronomy, music and economics.
In this next iteration, we hope to make Steps of the Sun a permanent installation that will help encourage not only Carleton students and staff, but also members of both St. Olaf and the Northfield community to learn more about Northfield's rich history and inspire them toward their own placemaking contributions, all of which we will facilitate through an easy-to-use app. Additionally, in 2019 we will expand the reach of the audio tour into Northfield proper by commissioning four companion mini-tours tracing routes in the Northfield community. These companion tours will root themselves in Northfield’s wildly successful sidewalk poetry installation, furthering its mission to make literature an active part of civic life.
Each of four contributors from the Northfield community will create a script for a walking tour and record it in a recording studio at Carleton College's Weitz Center for Creativity under the direction of a student recording engineer. Contributors will be commissioned by the Northfield Poet Laureate, who will be the contact person for this project.
Information for Contributors
For a general sense of what is expected, see the original Steps of the Sun script below (PDF format).
Each contributor will receive $250 upon completion of the project. This project is funded by Carleton College through a Public Works grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more information: https://apps.carleton.edu/publicworks/
In collaboration with the End in Mind Project (formerly The Convenings), the Northfield Poet Laureate issued a call for submissions for "poetic living wills," poems about what we want to leave behind, how we want to be remembered, and how we live well in the face of our own mortality. Sixteen local poets responded with poems, collected in the PDF below. Featuring poems by Becky Boling, Penelope Duran, Toni Easterson, Sarah Entenmann, Adriana Estill, D.E. Green, Mary Lewis Grow, Rob Hardy, Audrey Kletscher Helbling, Brenda Hellen, Susan Jaret McKinstry, Steven McCown, Orick Peterson, Leslie Schultz, David Walters, and Karen Herseth Wee.
Photo: Northfield Poet Laureate talking to host Cathy Wurzer at the "Reconvenings" event in Northfield on February 8, 2018.