Sandy Pool | 2024 Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency gives Manitoban artists time to focus on their work in the beautiful natural setting of Riding Mountain National Park.

The first artist-in-residence for 2024 is Sandy Pool. Ahead of their time in the historic Deep Bay Cabin, Sandy answered a few of our questions about their work and how they’ll be spending their residency.

MAC: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist and your practice.

Sandy Pool: I’m a lyric worker, educator and editor. I’m originally from a small town in Treaty 19 territory and my art practice is thoroughly multi-disciplinary. My work draws on poetry, playwriting, nonfiction, essays and other lyric modes. I have published two books of poetry, and currently working on two nonfiction projects, which I will be finishing during my residency at Riding Mountain.

Tell us about your project — what will you be working on in the Deep Bay Cabin? 

My third book If Body: Freedom is a book of lyric/personal essays about institutions and grief. I’m not even sure what to call these essays at the moment but I gravitate towards thinking about them as tiny “think tanks” about grief and how it changes the way we live.

What is your relationship with the park, and what are you most looking forward to exploring?

I’m fairly new to Manitoba having moved recently from London, U.K., so although I’ve been lucky enough to explore the Whiteshell, I have never been to Riding Mountain National Park. I’m really excited to explore everything that Riding Mountain has to offer, and I’m particularly excited to learn about local ecosystems.

How do you hope the park will influence or inspire your project or practice?

I always find deep peace in natural environments, and I’m always inspired by meeting new people so I hope the residency will help me to think deeply and make new connections about grief and place.

What would you like the public and park staff to know about you and your work?

My writing is deeply informed by place, so I’m always excited to learn more about places and how places are changed by the movement of people. I’m really excited to learn more about Riding Mountain as a place. I’d also love to learn more about animals, plants, and other natural features of the park.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers and the Riding Mountain National Park community?

Most recently I spent a month living in Cassadaga, Florida – a town which is famous for being inhabited by only mediums and psychics. I’m currently working on a long piece about grief, ghosts, mediums, and hauntings, so I’d love to hear about any local Riding Mountain ghosts!

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency is offered in partnership by the Manitoba Arts Council and Riding Mountain National Park.

Interested in the staying in the Deep Bay cabin? Find out how to apply to the Riding Mountain Artists Residency through the Learn – Residencies grant stream. Apply by January 15, 2025 for a residency in the summer of 2025.