Elizabeth Arnold: Poetry and World Travel

February 4, 2015

Poet Elizabeth Arnold has traveled the world in pursuit of new experiences and perspectives.

 

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"Travel has been invaluable for my writing," said Arnold.

Arnold has held fellowships in Mojacar, Spain and Bellagio, Italy. In 2010, she was awarded the Amy Lowell travel scholarship and lived in Sicily for seven months. For six of those months, Arnold lived in in an apartment with a view of Mount Etna, an active stratovolcano. While abroad in Sicily, she visited Crete, Tuscany, Venice, and Egypt. Mount Etna erupted, delaying her flight to Cairo. Arnold was present in Egypt for the first revolution.

 

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After returning from a year of traveling on the Amy Lowell scholarship, Arnold wants nothing more than to see more of the world. Next month, she is visiting the Yucatan, and in May she will travel to wilderness areas in Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa.

Her visit to Egypt in 2011, particularly the western desert and the southern part of the country, made Arnold want to explore more of Africa.

"The people living in these remote parts of Egypt are remarkable, and I fell in love with the most rural, less Western-influenced areas. There is a different pulse in such places, by way of the music of the language the people speak and their way of thinking, which for me at least is always related to how the language moves--call-and-response between fishermen across the Nile, for example," said Arnold.

Travel continues to affect Arnold's poetry. The poems in her fourth book, Life, are almost all set in foreign places. Recently, she wrote a poem based on an experience she had while working at Ucross, an artist colony in Wyoming.