Our Ludic Augury: game, story, sustainability
The first of two connected events presented by Dr Pauline Souleau (School of Modern Languages) and Rebecca Sharp (poet, Artist in Residence with the Centre for Energy Ethics), supported by the Centre for Energy Ethics, University of St Andrews.
‘Our ludic augury’ is a quote from Rebecca Sharp’s poem Velella velella: first commissioned for Magma Poetry’s Anthropocene edition (Oct 2021), and featuring in her forthcoming new collection Long Field Loop (Tapsalteerie 2024). A film of the poem (with Steve Smart and Alex South) was shortlisted for the Scottish Landscape Awards 2023:
Brinkmanship slips beyond sight,
beyond grasp. We send up the signs:
If Destroyed True
(If Not Destroyed Also True) –
our ludic augury, this game of membranes;
epochal in its way.
We welcome a range of captivating guest speakers as we explore the concepts, theories and mythologies behind various historic and contemporary examples of game-play, divination and narrative construction, through the lens of climate action:
Emily Lord-Kambitsch is Co-Chair and an Associate Core Faculty member of the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. Her PhD thesis examined emotions as an important mode for audience engagement with representations of antiquity in modern popular fiction, theatre, and cinema. At Pacifica she teaches courses in Greco-Roman myth, ritual studies, memoir and self-writing, and research approaches.
Emily will be co-presenting with Bowen Walker. Bowen has spent most of his life fascinated by imaginary worlds and all things nerdy. These interests manifested in his visual art, sculpting life size mythopoetic figures out of steel while getting his BA in Studio Art at Kenyon College, and building ‘rocking dragons’ for his nephews while working as a furniture maker. A series of synchronicities and a lifelong interest in mythology led him to Pacifica Graduate Institute where he recently received his MA in Mythological Studies. He is currently at Pacifica Graduate Institute working towards a PhD researching the transformational and transportational nature of play and imagination, and how we can use them to explore new worlds within psyche.
Amanda Yates Garcia is a writer and practicing witch, known as the Oracle of LA. She is the author of Initiated: Memoir of a witch, and host of the podcast ‘Between the Worlds’. She is an environmental activist, advocating for indigenous land rights, social and political reform in the US. In ‘Between the Worlds’, Amanda examines tarot through a mythopoetic lens, as a tool for both empowering the individual and supporting deep societal change. She is guest contributor to the newly released ‘Occult Strategies’ – a set of cards with prompts for individual action; a ‘gamified grimoire guiding your way through the magickal unknown’.
Andy Jackson is a Scotland-based poet and editor, co-editor of Poetry Scotland, and currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Stirling. Andy will read from his latest collection, ‘Games Night’ (Red Squirrel Press 2023), which draws on themes of politics, place and popular culture, with the centrepiece being a sequence of 12 poems inspired by indoor games and pastimes. ‘These ludic poems can interrogate sense till it becomes nonsense then they shine a light in its eyes until it summons the whole story. The story that not all games are innocent pastimes, some are human theatres, methods of containment and order, where rules are made and remade and may not be worth the paper they are written on.’ (Helen Ivory).