Projects > Fort Juniper

"Home is this little house in which I live, and much beyond it." — Robert Francis, 1986

Fort Juniper is the name of a small one-person house in the woods of Amherst, Massachusetts. It was built by the poet Robert Francis (1901-87) in 1940 and served as his home until his death. Presently, it is used to host poets-in-residence through the Robert Francis Trust.

While wandering in the woods as a teenager, I often encountered an older man in a cap, someone I assumed to be a poet but never spoke to; many years later, I learned that the man who tipped his hat to me was Francis. It was in this area of Amherst where I first forged my sense of intimacy with the land and it was these same environs that Francis would walk for inspiration. Via Francis’ poems and prose, I am seeing my former hometown with new eyes and capturing the intersection of his understanding of this place with my own experience.

Many people know of the other two great poets from Amherst, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, and an additional aim of this project is to bring more attention to Francis and his work. For Francis, Fort Juniper was more than just an abode in which to reside, it was a fort to shelter him, a lens through which he viewed the world, and a mirror with which to observe his inner states. In researching Francis, I have read his autobiography, poems, and many of his newspaper columns. Tales of walks and neighbors, trees and chickens, these are the observations made with the eyes of a poet. It is from Francis’ reflections and poetry that I occasionally cull titles and inspiration for my images.

The area being photographed is growing naturally to include parts of the river that flow away from Fort Juniper towards my childhood home and other locations related to Francis. In essence, this project allows me entrance into a world I had left many years ago and the opportunity to explore how and where our lives interweave through time.

Southern Terminus of a Short, Short Walk
Archival Inkjet
30 x 24 inches
2009
Northern Terminus of a Short, Short Walk
Archival Inkjet
30 x 24 inches
2020
170 Market Hill Road
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2008
Solitaire [View 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2008
A Small, Small House
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Come Out Into the Sun
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Looking Through Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Tree Twine Vine
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Black Oak at Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Lord Wilbur’s Oak [View 1]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Lord Wilbur’s Oak [View 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Cushman Brook [View 5]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Cushman Brook [View 1]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Mill River [View 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
A Bend in the River [Winter]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
A Bend in the River [Summer]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
A Bend in the River [Spring]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2020
A Bend in the River [Late Winter]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2015
Factory Hollow Pond [View 3]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2020
Robert Francis Footbridge [View 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2018
Robert Frost Trail [view 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2019
Elevation View of Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
A Fort in the Woods
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2013
Plans for Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
And If You Look in Through the Door...
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Mill River [View 3]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Factory Hollow Pond [View 2]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
A Path in the Woods
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2018
Factory Hollow Pond [View 1]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
The View from Robert Francis Footbridge
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2013
Robert Francis Footbridge [View 1]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2012
Stove/Heater
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Robert Francis Footbridge [View 3]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2017
Black Lives Matter, [Robert Frost Trail]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2020
Encounter [Robert Frost Trail]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Francis’ Piano
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2009
Henry’s Note
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2013
A Broken View...
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2017
Solitaire [View 3]
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2008
Meadow near Fort Juniper
Archival Inkjet
24 x 30 inches
2013