Sycamore May is a Poet, Artist, Writer and an Activist. I am inspired by wilderness and motivated by the desire to conserve and protect. I recently moved from the city to the country to start my own organic farm, to learn more about sustainable agriculture and how I can reach out to citizens about the unjust environmental/economic/ecological practices of the United States agricultural system. Throughout my education, I have always been interested in food – eating it, cooking it and growing it. Working on a local, organic farm in my hometown provided a romantic and spiritual relationship to the earth. I felt compelled to speak for local farmers after reading about the ways in which big businesses and the government have kicked them off of their land. Eco feminism, or the belief that the earth is our mother, has deeply resonated with me and speaks through my poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing.
What is your greatest life, artistic, academic and creative achievements?
My last year at Emerson College in Boston, my friends and I designed a public audio book called ‘Voices in the Wilderness’ to attract the attention of city dwellers. We published our writing using the new technology of quick response (QR) codes. The contents of the book promoted social change through individual stories and video poetry and were viewed by over three hundred people all over the country and the world. Publishing both volumes of the audio book took a severe amount of time and dedication from a team that included writers, actors, sound designers and editors. I am incredibly proud of the people involved and the work that lives on today through its permanent web address.
What roles are you playing in transforming your communities?
Through World Pulse – an NGO geared towards telling women’s stories – I volunteer, listening and responding to the difficult and triumphant stories of women all over the world. In my city, I work to decrease my carbon footprint by composting food scraps and growing my own vegetables through sustainable practices. On a personal blog, I have detailed my adventures moving from the city into the country and learning how to grow my own food. I have learned how easy it is to make the world a little bit more sustainable; it just takes practice and patience. On a larger scale, I participate in politics by voting for measures that decrease violence (like gun control) and increase environmental awareness (like voting to ban fracking and halt the construction of pipelines that destroy water supplies).
What are your future prospects in your career and your life?
I want to increase public awareness of environmental issues like man-made climate change and put an end to the practices that make it possible to destroy the environment. I will continue to fight for policies I believe in, and become more involved in the political system to educate myself on world issues and become part of my country’s decision-making process. I aim to be a steward of the land and live a sustainable life.
What is your parting shot to fellow women and girls
It may seem hopeless to make an impact in the world, but starting with yourself and your community is most important. Find something you are passionate about and then use that skill to make a difference in your community. From there, you can become the change you wish to see in the world. Women and girls of the world: you are important, and you have a story to tell and wisdom to impart! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.