From Border Crossings Magazine profile and interview of Zachari Logan from January 2022:

Interwoven with this aesthetic is an uncompromising politic that takes on sexual and environmental dimensions: “What we do to the land we do to ourselves.” Logan is a proponent of the ditch as the only uncultivated terrain in his home prairies. (Logan grew up and studied in Saskatoon and now lives in Regina.) The ditch weeds that grow there are surrogates for the queer body and Logan sees these wild, queered survivors as having a “will to flourish.” That resolve became necessary in a homophobic culture in which the view expressed by his grade eight sex education teacher—sex involves “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”—is still an attitude that can be heard in the ethically dark corridors of a punishing and vengeful heteronormative society. Overcoming uttered and latent homophobia is only the most obvious problem faced by queer individuals.

In this regard, Logan’s “will to flourish” recalls the finest long poem ever written on the prairies. Robert Kroetsch published Seed Catalogue in 1986. The poem used as its central metaphor the catalogues mailed to farmers in the 1920s by the McKenzie Steel-Briggs Seed Company. The company would pitch its flower, vegetable and grass seeds, extolling their virtues and advantages. Among the most persuasive was the recommendation for brome grass, Bromus inermis, because it so completely possessed the qualities necessary to survive a hostile climate: “No amount of cold will kill it,” “it withstands the summer suns,” “the roots push through the soil throwing up new plants continually.” But what makes brome grass special and what makes it stand out among the seeded offerings is that it “flourishes under absolute neglect.” Kroetsch’s brome grass and Logan’s ditch weeds have the same character. The seeded plants faced a seasonal hostility; the queered weeds had to overcome a resistance that was social and sexual. But what their convergence makes clear is that generation after generation, prairie writers and artists continue to seed and grow their own uniquely wilful and wildly successful plantings.

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Browse all of Zachari Logan’s work at CLAMP.