Black Earth Institute emblem

2017 Fellows and Scholars Report

This has been a great year for the fellows and scholars of the Black Earth Institute. Their achievements across many disciplines showcase their creativity and activism and are expressions of BEI’s mission of having art address the spirit, protecting the earth and social justice. We have not only produced such...

Continue reading

Pam Uschuk: Art and Activism, Poetry and Editing

Editing literary publications is an opportunity to select art that can strengthen the values and direction for the future from wonderful people. At the recent AWP Pamela Uschuk, editor of Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, and a Black Earth Institute Fellow, organized a panel called “Art and Activism, Poetry...

Continue reading

Annie Finch: Poetry Publication

The poem Moon for Our Daughters by Annie Finch, BEI Senior Fellow, was recently published on Poetry.org! Annie Finch is a poet, author, and performer; and has published more than twenty books, most recently Spells: New and Selected Poems. Her incantational, mystical poems explore earth-centered spirituality, merging word, music, and ritual. She leads writing...

Continue reading

Elizabeth Cunningham: Feminism and Religion

Elizabeth Cunningham, BEI Emeritus Fellow, recently contributed to the Feminism and Religion volunteer-project blog. The purpose of FAR is “to further feminist dialogue while nurturing one another’s work, even across our differences.” Using an excerpt from her book The Passion of Mary Magdalen, Cunningham writes her post “in remembrance of all the refugees...

Continue reading

Petra Kuppers: ASLE Conference

As part of ASLE (Assocation for the Study of Literature and Environment) annual conference in Davis, California, June 2019, BEI Fellow Petra Kuppers co-led with poet Stephanie Heit a post-conference workshop, Tendings and Eco-poetic Disability Culture: Bodymindspirits of the Future. The workshop offered an artful space for engagement and resource-sharing,...

Continue reading

Scholar Spotlight: DJ Lee

       Congratulations to DJ Lee for submitting her book, Remote: Fifteen Years Through the Wilderness, to Oregon State University Press for print last week. DJ and her new book were chosen by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) for the “7 Coming-Up Author Showcase”. The 7 Coming-Up event...

Continue reading

Fellow Spotlight: Claudia Savage

Claudia Savage is an Arab American poet, essayist, and performer; and is a member of the Portland-based performance duo Thick in the Throat, Honey. Her BEI project revolves around a book she is currently writing, “Metal Used for Beauty Alone,” which discusses the experiences of those affected by the Syrian refugee crisis....

Continue reading

Spotlight on Jaqueline Johnson

BEI Fellow Jaqueline Johnson’s work uses creatively interweaving art forms; frequently, she turns to quilts and poetry to express emotions regarding current events and social injustices. Currently, she is creating a collection and curating an exhibit which explores in depth the modern relationship of the Black community with police forces,...

Continue reading

Fellow Spotlight: Alexis Lathem

Congratulations to Alexis Lathem on her residency with the Marble House Project! The Marble House Project residency program focuses on the integration of conservation and earth-centeredness with artistic work, and encourages artists to forge community connections through their art. Alexis is using the residency to develop her project as a...

Continue reading

Fellow Spotlight: Petra Kuppers

  This week we are delighted to spotlight our Fellow, Petra Kuppers! Petra has pioneered the community performance project Salamander that “uses underwater photography, dry performance workshops, creative writing, clay work, and video… to find our disabled beauty emerging from the deep…” As a disability performance scholar, Petra has led...

Continue reading

American Life In Poetry

Austin Smith lives in rural Illinois and is an acute observer of the world at hand. This poem is from his book Flyover Country, published by Princeton University Press. Cat Moving Kittens We must have known, Even as we reached Down to touch them Where we’d found them Shut-eyed and...

Continue reading

Meet Iowa’s New Poet Laureate, Debra Marquart

Debra Marquart BEI Emeritus Fellow recently was on Iowa Public Radio- listen here! Debra Marquart had not originally intended to become an acclaimed poet, a distinguished professor at Iowa State University, or Iowa’s next poet laureate. Marquart instead wanted to be a road musician, singing lead for a rock band...

Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Debra Marquart

STONECOAST MFA IN CREATIVE WRITING When and how did you first start to take yourself seriously as a writer? What enabled you to make this shift, and what marked the change? I was a performing musician before I became a writer. I had always been interested in writing and studying song...

Continue reading

‘Black Odyssey Boston’ is near perfection

By Mike Hoban  Monday, May 13, 2019 Ramona Lisa Alexander as Circe and Brandon G. Green as Ulysses Lincoln, with Akili Jamal Haynes in the background in “Black Odyssey Boston.” (Photo: Maggie Hall) To call “Black Odyssey Boston” a retelling of the Greek myth of Ulysses “but with black people” would...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp is a poet defining place

Between “Turquoise Door” and “One Hundred Hungers,” history can be home too By Ashley Clark | 05/10/2019 After growing up in New York and working in a range of professions from disc jockey to visual artist, Lauren Camp found a way to blend her art and poetry. Camp spoke with Arts and...

Continue reading

Annie Finch, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion

Donate to this amazing project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcfinch/choice-words-writers-on-abortion With reproductive freedom under unprecedented attack at the state and federal levels, it’s time to take back the conversation.  Literature has always been at the forefront of profound shifts in human consciousness, and that’s the level of shift that is needed now.  It’s time...

Continue reading

Patricia Spears Jones- Tribute to Menna Alexander

Meena Alexander, a Consummate Woman of Letters I read and re-read Atmospheric Embroidery so that I could ask her something that would be of interest. But I did not get to ask those questions. Her answers are in the poems. The following is part of a series of essays and reflections published on...

Continue reading

Brenda Peterson’s New Book: Catastrophe by the Sea

Told through striking and vibrant mixed-media collages, Catastrophe by the Sea is a poignant story of redemption through empathy and compassion found in the most surprising places, and also provides a rich understanding of small creatures that live in a dangerous tidal zone. A lost cat roams the tide pools, pawing relentlessly...

Continue reading

Ann Fisher-Wirth at 2019 Longleaf Writer’s Conference

The 6th Annual Longleaf Writers Conference Features Visiting Authors Rebecca Makkai and Brian Turner, Workshop faculty Matt Bondurant (Fiction), Wendy Rawlings (Fiction), Ann Fisher-Wirth (Poetry), Seth Brady Tucker (Poetry), and Diane Roberts (Creative Non-Fiction) as well as literary agents and special guests, including our fellows Gabriel Houck, Kara van de Graaf,...

Continue reading

Liam Heneghan in Habitations Podcast

Liam Heneghan on Moving Beyond ‘The Balance of Nature’ Listen Here! The ‘balance of nature’ is the most well-known idea from the discipline of ecology that has found its way into popular environmental thought. However, for decades, ecologists have been emphatically declaring that the idea of a ‘balance in nature’...

Continue reading

Todd Davis in the News Review

Okay, who’s ready for a little poetry? Did I say ‘a little’? I meant plenty of good poetry to go around. To begin, in search of the divine in the daily, the selections in “Native Species” from Todd Davis, professor of environmental studies and creative writing at Penn State University...

Continue reading

Cristina Eisenberg in Prescott College Article

Original webpage here             April 04, 2019 – By Prescott College Recognized As Distinguished Alumna At Oregon State University Dr. Cristina Eisenberg has accomplished many things since attending Prescott College. She is the Ecologist and Chief Scientist with Earthwatch Institute, she published a book based on her...

Continue reading

Sundress Announces the Release of Leah Silvieus’ Collection, Arabilis

Sundress Publications announces the pre-release of Leah Silvieus’ collection, Arabilis. Through detailing her experiences with nature, religion, and violence, Silvieus finds that their underlying connections reveal much that goes unsaid. $1 from every pre-order goes in support of scholarships to the Tin House Summer Workshop that benefit immigrant writers, formerly incarcerated writers, or graphic narrative writers...

Continue reading

Austin Smith in “On The Seawall”

The Greenhouse   So this is paradise, I would think When, in late winter, we stepped out Of winter and into spring.   The greenhouse was glorious, But it was a rushed, undeserved glory. To go in was to be catapulted   A month ahead and to leave The overwintering land...

Continue reading

“Carrying Off the Ravens” Lauren Camp

Carrying Off the Ravens Lauren Camp Our quick jackets thrown against dust and we’re out to a patio, gradually looking at trees. I have two hours to teach these five young womento glory their woes and measure their blessings. We’ve left behind winter’s wide cobwebs and ditches. The lass next...

Continue reading

Metta Sama’s New Book of Poetry!

BEI Senior Fellow, Metta Sama, has new book of poetry is now available for pre-order! Swing at your own risk, structurally designed to swing from one subject to the next, from one lyric utterance to the next, concerns itself with unpacking myths of gender, race, sexuality and violence (specifically myths of...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp in Thrush Poetry Journal

Lauren Camp ​  Marrow A ship in the bay. Stomped grass, all bluff against salt-moaned land. The delicate line true   to a faltering, a history. Beneath sun-clawed clouds, I kneel   to read the lugging claim of sand: tithing. The line never spills its significant ways, never lies  ...

Continue reading

Black Earth Institute is Hiring!

We are offering 2 summer internships at Brigit Rest, 20 acres perched high on a ridge 30 miles west of Madison out in the beautiful Driftless Area of Wisconsin.  If you are interested in working on land with a large organic garden, vineyard, small orchard, many acres of prairie and...

Continue reading

Metta Sáma in Poetry Mini Interviews

Metta Sáma, BEI Senior Fellow, did a two-part poetry mini-interview series! Click here for the original link. Part One Metta Sáma is author of Swing at your own risk(forthcoming Kelsey St. Press), the year we turned dragon (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs), le animal & other creatures (Miel), After After/After “Sleeping to Dream” (Nous-zōt Press) and the web-book, Nocturne Trio (YesYes...

Continue reading

Linda Hogan’s New Essay in Emergence Magazine

Linda Hogan, BEI Emeritus Fellow, newest essay, “Ancient Root” was recently published in Emergence Magazine. Click here for the original essay or read below! Ancient Root by Linda Hogan For Linda Hogan, hope lives where faith has fallen away. During an encounter with caged elephants, she experiences a wave of profound and startling love...

Continue reading

Liam Heneghan in the Daily Campus!

Check out the newest review of Liam Heneghan’s, BEI Scholar, book Beasts at Bedtime! Click here for the original post. Children’s literature as a natural wonder: How books introduce young readers to the environment By Stephanie Santillo There are two ways in which humans view the environment according to Dr. Liam Heneghan...

Continue reading

Patricia Spears Jones in Audio Roundup

Audio Roundup: Black Poets Honoring Black Poets Posted Feb 19, 2019 In honor of Black History Month, Poets House invites you to spend some time listening to black poets who have spoken on the work and legacy of other black poets as part of our long-running Passwords program series. Here are...

Continue reading

Boys and Oil by Taylor Brorby

Boys and Oil 1. We play army at Tyler’s birthday party. Cream the Carrier, Smear the Queer, King of the Hill—games boys on the prairie play to the swoosh of grass in afternoon heat. Something in the land pulls us towards violence. We tackle our friends, drive our hollow boned...

Continue reading

Marcella Durand in Contemporary Poetry Post

Recently, BEI Emeritus Fellow, Marcella Durand was featured in a blog post by Contemporary Poetry: A Site for All Things Poetry, Language, and Culture. Read the post below or go to the original page here. Marcella Durand I was reading the Durand handouts tonight, and I realized we don’t have...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp in The Las Angeles Review

OPEN HEART BY LAUREN CAMP His scar made him unlike the men who took me to begging, to bowling alleys on motorcycles, who threw off their boots to the corners. He had no last excuses. Our desert habitat juggled a thicket of cotton and spread flat or fluttered. We’d larked...

Continue reading

Mary Swander in HuffingtonPost

Mary Swander and her play Vang  (which BEI is bringing to Madison on April 19th, 2019) were recently featured in the Huff post! Read the article below or go to the original article here. Iowa Laureate’s “Vang” Play Showcases Immigrant Farmers: Interview with Mary Swander In a week of turmoil over...

Continue reading

Brenda Peterson on Pets & Wildlife PODCASTS

Brenda Peterson, BEI Emeritus Fellow, recently aired a podcast on Mrs. Green’s World: Pets & Wildlife Podcasts entitled “Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves”. Listen Here! From childhood stories like Peter and the Wolf, to groundbreaking documentaries like Jamie and Jim Dutcher’s Living with Wolves, to the powerful...

Continue reading

Sparrows In Winter

by Liam Heneghan The traffic had been slow all day but by four pm, it was reduced to a trickle. Those cars that passed him on the street did so in two and threes as if they were sticking together for safety like lumbering animals caught out in a storm....

Continue reading

Linda Hogan Libretto Featured in “Fire and Light”

Linda Hogan recently had a Libretto featured in “Fire and Light” by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Here are the interviews from this performance. For photos and videos of the event, click here. ‘Fire and Light’: OKC Philharmonic to perform work by local Chickasaw classical composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate believes his music...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp On KWGS 89.5

Lauren Camp, BEI Senior Fellow, recently was on Studio Tulsa with Rich Fisher, listen here! Lauren Camp, whose books include “One Hundred Hungers” (winner of the Dorset Prize and a finalist for the Arab American Book Award) and “Turquoise Door.” Last year, Camp presented her poems on dementia at the...

Continue reading

Petra Kuppers Recieved Grant for Think Act Tank: Embodiment and Environmental Art Practice

Petra Kuppers, BEI Fellow, just received an additional grant from NCID (National Center for Institutional Diversity) for her project “Think Act Tank: Embodiment and Environmental Art Practice” of $15,000. “This Think Act Tank lies at the conjunctions of ecopoetics, disability studies, critical race studies, indigenous studies, and environmental studies. We...

Continue reading

D.J. Lee’s Essay Published in Washington State Magazine

D.J. Lee, BEI Scholar, recently wrote an essay on the Svalbard ice cores, a long-ago research trip to Oxford, with her companion artist Caroline Landau. The essay was published in both print and digital. Read the original essay here! “I love this one, it’s so clear and beautiful,” Caroline says, holding a football-sized...

Continue reading

International Welsh Poetry Competition 2019 Live!

Welsh Poetry Competition How many people know that the world-famous International Welsh Poetry Competition began life in a small, independent pub, tucked away down a quiet side street in Pontypridd?  Founded by Welsh poet Dave Lewis in 2007 the contest has been run and organized from the town ever since,...

Continue reading

Liam Heneghan Publishes New Fiction

Liam Heneghan, BEI Scholar, recently wrote his first fiction piece-published first on the Irish Times Website- read it below or here from the original. Memories of Irish Birdsong 1. My mother once saw the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs; in Irish: “Rí Rua”) take a shit on Grafton Street and she scolded...

Continue reading

Linda Hogan’s “Lowak Shoppala” to be Performed in Oklahoma City

Linda Hogan, BEI Emeritus Fellow, is one of the three composers of “Lowak Shoppala’, including Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate and Margaret Roach Wheeler. Here is the original article by Tony Choate. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform a work by Chickasaw classical composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, Feb. 16 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music...

Continue reading

Melissa Tuckey New Poet Laureate

Melissa Tuckey, BEI Fellow and Co-Editor of About Place Journal’s Roots + Resistance, recently became the New Poet Laureate for Tomkins County. Read this new article about her and her agenda by Ithica.com After serving as the Tompkins County poet laureate, Zee Zahava’s time has come to an end. Her...

Continue reading

New Review of Ann Fisher-Wirth’s Mississippi

Poetry Flash, an online publication that reviews poetry, did a review on Senior Fellow Ann Fisher-Wirth’s book of poetry Mississippi. The review, written by Iris Jamahl Dunkle is below. Here is the link to the original article.  TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS WRITES in her breakthrough essay, “The Open Space of Democracy,” when we...

Continue reading

Annie Finch’s Poem on New Coffee Shop’s Walls

Sitwell’s Coffee House, once a staple location for Ludlow locals, shut its doors in January 2018. Not quite a year later, the shop reopened with new management and a new name. Sitwell’s Act II is back, and it looks better than ever. Annie Finch’s, BEI Fellow, poem Reverly is written over the...

Continue reading

Ancient Dreamer by Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth Cunningham, BEI Emeritus Fellow, recently wrote a piece on feminism and religion. Read the original article here.  The poems below are excerpted from my new (I hope forthcoming) collection, Tell Me the Story Again.Ancient dreamer’s voice is one among many voices including sorrow singer, temple sweeper, sword woman, morose fool, merry...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp in Crazyhorse Literary Journal

Lauren Camp, Senior BEI Fellow, recently had one of her poems, “Our Beginning and Our End,” (The first poem in her new book Turquoise Door), be featured in the newest issue of Crazyhorse Literary Journal. Her poem is nestled between wonderful work by Shane McCrae,Jessica Jacobs, Kai Carlson-Wee and others. Edited by Emily Rosko.

Continue reading

Regie Gibson at Cary Library

Regie Gibson, BEI Emeritus Fellow, recently performed at Cary Library’s: Library After Dark where he inspired the audience. This is a series is one of Cary Library’s many to cultural programs. For the original article. For 150 years, Cary Library has been enriching the lives of Lexington residents. The library...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp in Oxidant | Engine

Lauren Camp has been busy lately! She recently had a poem published in Oxidant | Engine: Issue 7. Here is the poem- No Defense, No Readiness This season of lost resolve, of moon ovals lengthening toward tender land. The weather of sudden braking— all we know is a badly adorned...

Continue reading

“Curio” a Short Story by Austin Smith

Austin Smith, BEI Fellow, had his short story, “Curio”, published by On the Seawall. On the Seawall published poems, short stories, and other works by many authors. For the original article. And then there it was, what the boy had been looking for. He hadn’t known what it would be, only...

Continue reading

Lauren Camp in World Literature Today

Lauren Camp, Senior BEI Fellow, newest book of poetry, Turquoise Door: Finding Mabel Dodge Luhan in New Mexico by Lauren Camp, was recently reviewed by World Literature Today. Lauren said the review beautifully asses what she was trying to do with the book. Poet Lauren Camp takes us for a deep dive into the...

Continue reading

Regie Gibson in The Boston Globe

Recently, The Boston Globe did an article featuring BEI Emeritus Fellow, Regie Gibson! They discuss Regie’s poetry, style, and making a living as being a poet. Check out the article below written by Cindy Atoji Keene. “I was born in the Delta where the heat is swelter. I am the blues.” — REGIE GIBSON...

Continue reading