Two Sylvias' Weekly Muse: July 9, 2023
Hello Poets and Writers!
We came across an interesting method for exploring “place” in creative writing—the creation of a “deep map.” Coined by author William Least Heat-Moon, a “deep map” focuses on a particular landscape or piece of land and examines it from all perspectives, much more broadly and deeply than a traditional “map” used for navigation. In his novel, PrairyErth, Heat-Moon writes about a specific area of grassland in an unpopulated area of Kansas (this location is almost exactly in the center of the continental US). Heat-Moon spends time at this locale as he walks the land repeatedly, taking note of every detail—plants, soil, rocks, insects, birds, animals, weather, etc. He studies current US Geological Survey maps, looks up the ancient geological history of the place, studies the First Nation people who lived there, interviews the Kansans who live in proximity to the land, talks to anthropologists, archeologists, ecologists, and local historians, reads about the folklore…