Poetry Porch Artist



These drawings were part of an installation I created honoring twenty-four undocumented Chinese workers who drowned in 2004 while harvesting cockles in England's Morecamb Bay. The bay is wide and shallow, open to the Irish Sea, and no one warned the cockle pickers about the tidal bore that sweeps in from the sea, creating lethal quicksand. Because they had little or no English, the harvesters couldn’t call for help, but instead called their families in China to say goodbye. “The sea is swallowing us up,” they said — or so I read in a brief synopsis of the story. This phrase was translated, in Chinese characters, as “Wolf-Tiger-Sea-Swallow-Us” by my computer’s automated translation program. I used the characters as the basis of my drawings in the installation.

        Katherine Jackson
        April 2018