This essay describes responses of a poet to medieval farm buildings in a state of disintegration and on the brink of re-construction in a rural environment in Wales. Themes of space, time and belonging emerged as the author, a poet, worked with artists, local inhabitants and the place itself. Focusing on ‘spaces’ or fractures in the structure, and noticing absences as well as presences, the writer engaged with both physical and metaphysical dimensions of ‘habitation’ and found ways to engage wider audiences in collaborative spoken word performances on site, as well as in a book of poems with accompanying drawings. The author considers the collaborative and flexible forms the writing took and why these were chosen, raising questions about how poetic responses to buildings relate to genres of nature writing, documentary history and ecopoetry.
Keywords: Poetry – buildings – built environment – nature writing – collaborative art