Reading an excerpt from Leaves, Alive and Otherwise
Video: Luka Knežević Strika
Produced by the Footnote Centre for Image and Text, 2023

Essay published in June 2021 in the annual print edition of Still Point Journal, Presence. Written in the spring of 2020, during the first UK lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fiona Glen (*1995) is a writer and artist from Edinburgh, currently based in London, where she graduated from the Royal College of Art’s MA Writing. Her work explores messy embodiment, unruly ecologies, and how human beings understand themselves through metaphors, things, and other beings. Fiona teaches experimental writing workshops and courses, and has been published in anthologies and periodicals such as Prototype, ArtReview, and Aesthetica online. Mycoglossia, her poetry pamphlet co-written with Nina Hanz and published by HVTN Press, is an experimental exploration of mushrooms and spores. During her micro-residency at the Footnote Centre, Fiona is researching and plotting out the initial concept for a novel which will explore plant-human relationships in surprising ways. To get into this headspace and connect with the city, she is seeking out the botanical in Belgrade – mapping plant life across the city, drawing at the Jevremovac gardens, and writing short texts influenced by the greener lifeforms that surround us. 



“Greenhouse is a ticking engine, clicking in the sun… If a cactus can have feathers, why can’t I? If a cactus can grow a festive cocktail umbrella from its own head, why can’t I?” In Ada Lake, our micro-resident Fiona Glen reads a hallucinogenic poem written in dialogue with plants and artworks in the Jevremovac Botanical Gardens greenhouse on a hot summer’s day.

Filmed by Luka Knežević Strika.

“Mercy of shade, riot of vine, envoy of damselfly wing / hospitality fusses round my shoulders”
Fiona Glen reads an early draft of her poem ‘summer solstice in Jevremovac’ by Ada Lake.

Filmed by Luka Knežević Strika.