“Midwest Bedrock: The Search for the Soul of Nature in America’s Heartland.”

Read Kevin Koch’s excerpt from his new book “Midwest Bedrock: The Search for the Soul of Nature in America’s Heartland.” In this excerpt, he views the ancient city of Cahokia from atop Monks Mound, reflecting on the past, present, and future. https://swander.substack.com/p/cahokia-the-view-from-the-center?utm_source=publication-search&fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR2GK9UI0_O6KMYH5D7btBUY6apqcsJ2p6vUYr8x9Gjj1v5ksAa7b9mm1uM_aem_AYF6MEH9DeQ62KCWoCQkgCrmzD19_TczruLreZF_sAlWL3UxOzEClw8B54Y4zopGwwXKvuYkpMnywfJ65TqAYfcI  

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Cutthroat Reading

Join CUTTHROAT, A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS, on April 14th for a Zoom reading by an incredible group. Carolyn Forché, J. Drew Lanham, Jesse Tsinijinnie Maloney, and Peggy Shumaker will promote CT28, “NATURE OF NATURE AND HUMAN NATURE.” Cutthroat will also be honoring Rainy Dawn Ortiz, Luis Alberto Urrea, Joy...

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About Place Journal Call for Submissions: Strange Wests

“Our next issue invites you to consider and reimagine all things West. Send us your prose, poetry, and visual art that conceives of the West beyond its conventional and colonialized framework to help us decenter traditional subjects and propagandized histories of this region.” Link to submit below: https://aboutplacejournal.org/submissions/ Editors: Jasmine...

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stills of people reading from the About Place Journal reading series on Zoom

Video from The More-Than-Human World Reading Series

Writers and poets from the latest issue of About Place Journal (The More-Than-Human World) gathered on Zoom on January 11 to read their work from the issue. Over 20 additional participants connected from different corners of the world to witness the magic of storytelling and poetic expression. Here is a...

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The More-Than-Human World, Volume VII, Issue IV, About Place Journal, October 2023 cover featuring a delicate, realistic drawing of a grayscale fox eyeing orange persimmons, isolated on a white background

The More-Than-Human World Reading Series

Join us for The More-Than-Human World Reading Series! Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 7 pm CDT Join us in real time on Zoom (registration required) or watch live on YouTube. Click on a participant’s name or photo to view their work.

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Ceasefire and Hostage Exchange Now

There is talk of the possibility of a ceasefire and hostage exchange. The level of violence now is in no way equal, and bombing whole areas of Gaza with possibly 20,000 dead, the vast majority of which are civilians, is genocidal. Yet the brutal violence on Oct 7 cannot be...

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Genocide

What could be a more clear expression of genocide? Violence against Palestinians is many decades old and is now clear genocide. Ceasefire now!

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Stiletto-Brenda Peterson

Congratulations to Brenda Peterson on her new Mystery Novel! Stiletto is set in rainy Seattle and follows the aftermath of the murder of a Big Pharma CEO and the slew of suspects that emerge in the wake of the brutal stabbing. Congratulations to BEI Emeritus Fellow Brenda Peterson! Read more...

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Matty Layne Glasgow

BEl current fellow, Matty Layne Glasgow, is now a new fellow at Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. During his fellowship, he will continue and deepen his work on the vanishing Great Salt Lake and the Bear River that feeds the lake. He will trace how usage over...

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Ceasefire Now

  Stop Genocide and Ceasefire. Genocide is not the way to peace, and the next step is to find a real form of peace. Whether one or two states, a ceasefire, and then the next small steps along with hostage release. The above photo shows members of the Jewish Voice...

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About Place Journal Pushcart Nominees

  Brittney Corrigan, “Suffer” Annie Wenstrup, “From Here”  Minna Jain, “A River is a Long Soul” Sarah McCartt-Jackson, “Bluegrass” Jennifer K. Sweeney, “California Black Bear”  Vivian Faith Prescott, “How to Yoik the Stikine River”

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Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones Honored with NY State Poet Award

The following article was originally published on ourtimepress.com It looks like Brooklyn is the literary capital of New York State. The New York State Writers Institute has honored two nationally acclaimed Black women writers living in Brooklyn. Award-winning novelist and young adult author Jacqueline Woodson has been named the State...

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Michael McDermott’s Interview with Dick Cates – About Place Journal

In an interview with Dick Cates, the discussion revolves around the Driftless area and Lowery Creek’s significance in terms of watershed health and farming methods. The Driftless area’s distinct topography, unaffected by glaciers, has resulted in unique watersheds. Lowery Creek, running through Cates Family Farm, suffered from poor farming practices...

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Rajiv Mohabir – Franciscana

A poem featured in the About Place Journal by Rajiv Mohabir. The poem “Franciscana” reflects on the irony of the Pontoporia blainvillei dolphin, named after Franciscan friars, the missionaries that brought the bible, disease and death, but treated callously by people. Years later the dolphins were treated poorly. The poem...

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Celina Mcmanus – My Father’s Eyes

Celina Mcmanus is an educator and poet from the Smokey Mountains. In this fictional piece, Celina’s character talks about seeing their deceased fathers’ eyes in a frog they found in the river. The connection draws memories back on characteristics of their father. This piece also happens in a dystopian world,...

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Minna Jain – A River Is A Long Soul

Minna Jain’s featured nonfiction story in the latest issue of the About Place Journal. The twists and turns in Minneapolis in the 3rd Precinct following George Floyd’s murder.   A River is a Long Soul 3rd Precinct, South Minneapolis, May 28, 2020 We walk past the State Patrol and National...

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Jacqueline Johnson’s Interview with Cathy Fussell

Jacqueline Johnson interviews master quilter Cathy Fussell in the newest issue of the About Place Journal. JACQUELINE JOHNSON To Follow a Curve in the River: Interview with Cathy Fussell Master quilter Cathy Fussell is known nationally for her map quilts, as well as being the creator of the Michelle Obama...

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Refugee Review in Terrain.org

This was reviewed by Michael Hettich in Terrain.org.   Refugee: Poems by Pamela Uschuk Red Hen Press | 2022 | 104 pages In this time of acrimony and push-button polemics, it is a rare pleasure to discover a writer whose politically engaged poetry is vividly alive to the nuances evoked by...

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“The Long Way Home” Book Review

This review by Michael Tidemann was originally published in Des Moines Register. Book review: Memoir redefines meaning of home “The Long Way Home,” a memoir about how travel eventually brings us home, is the April featured selection for Writers and Writing. Author Tom Montgomery Fate is a native of Maquoketa...

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BEI and Cutthroat Journal at AWP Writer’s Convention

On March 9th, our BEI family presented with Cutthroat Journal at the AWP Writer’s Convention. We’ve tracked down the live stream footage from the event, and wanted to share it with all of you! We’ve attached a link to the video, as well as a timestamp marking for when everyone...

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AWP Offsite Reading Program

BEI + Cutthroat @ CAM / AWP 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Thursday 3/9/23 Join The Black Earth Institute at Common AREA on March 9th at 2:30 pm for an incredible reading with 17 authors, artists, and scholars. BEI readers, along with special guests from Cutthroat, are coming from across...

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Recordando Como La Historia Se Repite Poetry Reading

This post was originally featured on Facebook.com. Our monthly poetry series continues with the February 2023 edition, which has the theme “Remembering How History Repeats Itself.” This month we will also have a featured poet, Teresa Dzieglewicz, whose first book is forthcoming this spring. Titled Something Small of How To...

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Ann Fisher-Wirth

Ann Fisher-Wirth wins 2023 Governor’s Arts Award

Join us in Congratulating Ann Fisher-Wirth on her momentous achievement! Senator John Horhn and Senator Nicole Boyd on Thursday, February 2, 2023, presented Dr. Ann Fisher-Wirth of Oxford, with Senate Resolution 21, for being named a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Literature & Poetry. The...

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Petra Kuppers

Professor embraces disability through movement

This article was originally published by The University of Michigan. During Ypsilanti’s first Pride Festival in 2017, Petra Kuppers set up a booth called the “QueerCrip Pussy Poets’ Rest Stop.” Kuppers and her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, offered those attending a place to relax and explore poetry by...

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Mary Swander Play to Tour Summer 2023

Squatters on Red Earth A peaceful encounter in the midst of the U.S. white settler land grab. Squatters on Red Earth explores the positive relationship that the Amana Colonies have had with the Meskwaki Indigenous people. The Amana Inspirationists fled religious persecution in their homeland in Germany only to become part...

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Why Write Children Books by Brenda Peterson

To read Brenda’s original publication, click here. “Why write for children?” a friend asked me rather dismissively when she heard I was mulling over writing a book for kids. “Isn’t that like dumbing down?” “Because adults still don’t get it,” I answered, keeping my voice low so as not to...

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Paradise Is Jagged—Available for Pre-Orders

To pre-order Ann Fisher-Wirth’s newest collection, click here. In this extraordinary collection, Ann Fisher-Wirth looks levelly at mortality, grief, and memory, and reckons with what it is to be urgently alive, bringing her incisive nuance to subjects ranging from the loss of a beloved sister to Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary to...

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Center of Gravity Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are proud to unveil our 2022 pushcart nominations from the About Place Journal Issue Center of Gravity. These nominations were selected by the issue’s editors, Gerald L. Coleman, Orchid Tierney, and Marjory Wentworth. Join us in congratulating Cristina Correa, Kari Gunter-Seymour, and M. Brett Gaffney   Cristina Correa, “The...

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Pam Uschuk’s Refugee receives recommendation from Orion Magazine

This article was originally published by Orion Magazine. Orion poetry editor Camille Dungy and friends are back at it, bringing you recommendations on some of the best recent books on animals, trees, time, refugees, place, bewilderment, grief, and Babyn Yar. ANN FISHER-WIRTH RECOMMENDS:  REFUGEE by Pamela Uschuk The first line of Pamela Uschuk’s extraordinary...

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Center of Gravity

We are incredibly excited to launch the next About Place Issue: “Center of Gravity.” We think this issue demonstrates justice as the center of gravity and resistance as getting us there. We hope you will join us in celebrating these artists’ eclectic, daring interpretations of the theme. Let us know...

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Tom Montgomery Fate Book Signing Event

This event was originally published by PrairiePathBooks.com.   Prairie Path Books 255 Town Square Wheaton, IL, 60189 Thursday, December 8, 2022 @ 6:00 PM- 7:00 PM Meet Literary Local, Tom Montgomery Fate, for a reading, discussion, and signing of his new book, The Long Way Home: Detours and Discoveries. Tom...

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Black Earth Institute emblem

Giving Tuesday!

It’s Giving Tuesday and the Black Earth Institute needs your support. BEI through the projects of its fellows, its About Place Journal, and the ongoing work of its emeritus fellows and scholar/advisors brings art to bear on promoting social justice, protecting the earth, and honoring an inclusive spirit. We are...

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Navigations: A Place For Peace Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are proud to unveil our 2022 pushcart nominations from the About Place Journal Issue Navigations: A Place for Peace. These nominations were selected by the issue’s editors, Allison Hedge Coke, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, Katy Gurin, and Travis Hedge Coke. Join us in congratulating Brandy Nālani McDougall, Cristina Eisenberg, and...

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Amanda Reavey

Cento for Orphanhood by Amanda Reavey

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets originally published this poem. I. In the beginning there were no orphans. God created the sky and You lived, because a divine hand saved you from an accident. You lived Though it’s an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel. II. In the...

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Ann Fisher-Wirth

Ann Fisher-Wirth wins Excellence in Literature & Poetry

The following article was originally published on yallpolitics.com. The 2023 recipients will be recognized at the 35th Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony on Feb. 2, 2023, at 6 p.m.  This week, the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) announced the recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards, which are given to individuals and organizations to recognize outstanding...

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Remember Patricia Monaghan- Black Earth Institute

To donate to this amazing campaign, click here! On November 11th, 2012, Black Earth Institute co-founder Patricia Monaghan died. On this the 10th anniversary of her death, we ask for your support in helping us continue and grow her vision. BEI provides a sanctuary, a magnification of voice and community to artists who seek...

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Fourteen Poems

The following collection was originally published by PersimmonTree.org.  Featured BEI poets include Pam Uschuk, Patricia Spears Jones, and Ann Fisher-Wirth. Rejecting Despair: Poems of Lament, Rage, and Resistance by Cynthia Hogue, Poetry Editor We who fought during the era of Second Wave feminism have lived to see our success curtailed,...

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Pain and Joy on the Land: A Disability Culture Offering Virtual

To register for this event, click HERE. Thursday, October 27, 2022, 12:00PM to 1:15PM (EDT) ONLINE | Pain and Joy on the Land: A Disability Culture Offering Virtual Two white queer cis women, one woman of size, Petra Kuppers, with yellow glasses, shaved head, pink lipstick, and a black dotted...

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Letter: Censorship of books is never a good idea

This opinion piece was originally published in Grand Folks Herald. Libraries are the last home of democracy in our country; they’re places where all are welcome, services are provided, and books, those wonderful houses of stories, knowledge, and information, are accessible to all. By Taylor Brorby   Last week, while returning...

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AgArts Podcast: A Nail Pulling Party

This podcast was originally found on AgArts.com. Season #2, Episode 39: A Nail Pulling Party Host Mary Swander puts out a call to listeners for critter stories and gives instructions to make a pitch on the website: www. agarts.org. Swander tells the story of Old Order Amish neighbor Abram Yutzy demolishing...

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ASLE Conference in Portland, Oregon

ASLE & AESS in 2023: Portland, Oregon The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) are excited to announce that they will hold their next conference jointly in Portland, Oregon on July 9-12, 2023 at the Oregon Convention Center....

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Allison Hedge Coke Contender for National Book Award for Poetry

This piece was originally found in nationalbook.com. The ten contenders for the National Book Award for Poetry Find The New Yorker’s announcement here. The National Book Foundation announced the Longlist for the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry. The Finalists in all five categories will be revealed on Tuesday, October 4. Three...

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Lauren Camp is the second New Mexico Poet Laureate

This article was originally published by the Albuquerque Journal. Lauren Camp has a way with words. The northern New Mexican poet becomes the state’s second Poet Laureate. “I am humbled and grateful to serve as New Mexico’s second Poet Laureate,” says Camp. “I fell in love with New Mexico 28...

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Loving and mourning in the kingdom of decay

Loving and mourning in the kingdom of decay was recorded earlier in the year at a TEDx event at DePaul University. The talk was led by BEI Resident Scholar Advisor Liam Heneghan. According to Liam “The talk is especially meaningful to me because it was prepared and given shortly after...

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Petra Kuppers wins 2022 ASLE Book Award

This post was originally made by ASLE.org. Judges have announced the winners of the 2022 ASLE Book Awards. The awards, in the categories of ecocriticism and environmental creative writing, have been given biennially to recognize excellence in the field. The 2021 awards were postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic. This year,...

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Brenda Peterson and Ed Young’s “Crane Maiden”

Brenda's second illustrated book, with master Chinese illustrator, Ed Young, CRANE MAIDEN, is out now from Chin Music Press as a digital book first! Since Ed created his shadow play art on a light table (moon) with paper collage and feather, CRANE MAIDEN, comes gloriously alive on screen. The book...

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The Long Way Home: Detours and Discoveries- Review

The Long Way Home: Detours and Discoveries Andrew Taylor-Troutman reviews Tom Montgomery Fate’s new book.   Tom Montgomery Fate Ice Cube Press, 168 pages | Published July 15, 2022 In The Long Way Home, Tom Montgomery Fate has written a profoundly moving travel memoir about his experiences across the United States...

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Patricia Spears Jones

Saturnine by Patricia Spears Jones

This poem was originally published at Poets.org. Saturnine Patricia Spears Jones for Karen Taylor We cannot feel microbes in the palms of our hands or hear nanoseconds—we can see the laser slice wind. But  how it shaves beards remains mysterious. This talk of science & biologicals & viral crowns   make...

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John T. Price’s New Book “All is Leaf”

BEI Emeritus Fellow John T. Price has released his new book! It is out NOW and available for purchase! Book Description Drawing inspiration and urgency from the storied Goethe Oak tree at Buchenwald concentration camp–and from the leaf as symbol of all change, growth, and renewal–award-winning essayist John Price explores...

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Navigations: A Place for Peace

We are incredibly excited to launch the next About Place Issue: “Navigations: A Place for Peace.” We think this issue speaks to restoring ourselves to the earth and overall healing. We hope you will join us in celebrating these artists’ eclectic, daring interpretations of the theme. Let us know what...

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Corn and Turns by Lauren Camp

This poem was originally published in The Common Online. By LAUREN CAMP If I won’t remember that I was in Virginia last year without praise of darkness, or the autumn drift I spent in Wisconsin watching a cardinal nip the oak, if I see and forget field thick over field, the...

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Tucson Poetry Festival: Lauren Camp Presents

How to Make Luck: Writing in Praise of the Ordinary with Lauren Camp (Registration Closed) 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM With so many things to worry over, we need to keep finding joy and celebrating gratitude. This feel-good workshop will help you write in praise of small beauties, large events, or anything...

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Mary Swander Podcast- Ask Ruby

Season #2 Episode #29: Ask Ruby “Ruby, why do Amish men shave off their mustaches but still have beards? Do the Amish vote? Do they use binoculars? What are their favorite foods? What is Rumspringa? Can the Amish use solar panels? How do they observe Ascension Thursday?” Find answers to...

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Hearing the Invisible: Lessons from Sentient Beings and Inter-relational Ecosystems

This post was originally featured in The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. BEI Alums Brenda Peterson, Annie Finch, and Cristina Eisenberg will be presenting at this phenomenal symposium. Check out more information below! 2022 ASWM SYMPOSIUM  “Hearing the Invisible: Lessons from Sentient Beings and Inter-relational Ecosystems” ASWM...

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