Michelle Otero and Emmy Pérez, recent Poet Laureates of Albuquerque, NM and the state of Texas, respectively, engage in a virtual public dialogue and reading, sharing how their work, both as artists and community-based cultural workers, has shaped their engagement in their particular communities. This conversation will also serve as a forum to discuss the poetics that undergird Otero’s recently published book, Bosque (University of New Mexico, 2021).
Register via eventbrite.
Pérez’s most recent collection, situated in the borderlands, is With the River in Our Face (University of Arizona Press, 2016). Both Otero and Pérez root their work on and off the page in the communities and vulnerable landscapes of the U.S. Southwest and borderlands. Through their words and work they uplift how these people and places offer a deeper way of knowing, one that might guide us through these challenging times.
This year, the more than 25 organizations nationwide that compose the Poetry Coalition will launch “It is burning./ It is dreaming./ It is waking up.: Poetry & Environmental Justice”, the coalition’s fifth annual programming initiative. For this collaborative effort, the organizations will offer a range of virtual programs that speak to this timely theme.
This programming is made possible in part by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation which were secured by the Academy of American Poets.
The line “It is burning./ It is dreaming./ It is waking up.” is from the poem “Map” by Linda Hogan.
Poetry Coalition members aim to demonstrate how poetry can positively provoke questions in their communities about environmental justice and spark increased engagement with this urgent topic. Each member organization has committed to offering programming that is accessible and that includes poets from the disability community, and of specific racial, ethnic, and gender identities, backgrounds, and communities.
Letras Latinas at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies in Notre Dame, Indiana, in partnership with Poets Against Walls collective based in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, are co-hosting this #PoetryCoalition #EnvironmentalJustice event.