HILARY S. JACQMIN
MINERVA / Series II: Architecture curates poetry PDFs that have a perceived affinity with architectonics.
Hilary, on houses & gardens;
'I have been drawn to the topic of country houses and gardens for a long time, initially because of their visual splendour. Growing up, I made frequent visits to Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio, a Tudor Revival mansion built between 1912 and 1915 for the founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. I loved Stan Hywet’s ornate architecture and landscaped grounds, which include a walled English garden complete with reflecting pool. The life of the estate seemed present, distilled somehow into the rust-stippled screen door at the back of the Great Hall or the rustling birch tree allée. Still, I would imagine how magnificent the house must have been when it was full of people.
As an undergraduate English major at Wesleyan University, inspired by classes on Gothic and Victorian literature, I became fascinated by garden history and the complex way that houses and gardens have been used as sites of meaning and control. As an MA student in Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA student in poetry at the University of Florida, I wrote numerous poems, many of them set in England, about houses and gardens. These poems were based on extensive research, some of which I conducted on-site. I found that visits to historic houses and gardens invariably inspired me to write when I had exhausted other subjects.
I hope that these four pieces succeed as poems of both critique and longing.'