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Practices of Hope Reading Series

Dear friends, comrades, colleagues,

We invite you to join us next Friday for this summer reading, the third in our Practices of Hope series. Find out about a clay egg, micaceous Pueblo pots, kitsune foxes, past life flyovers, an alien’s microscope, an FBI mystery around a father’s death, a planet broke in half & jaguars on the US-Mexico border.

YouTube Live, no registration necessary, everyone welcome!

With warm wishes, editors DJ Lee and Petra Kuppers

Practices of Hope showcases creative processes as ways of making change. The artists and writers in this issue of the About Place journal ask: How can creative practice allow us to feel and act differently? How can we invent new collaborations and new embodiment practices for humans and other fellow creatures? What can speculative or non-realist forms mean for eco-arts? How can we imagine a different future with more of us in it? What hope can we afford? What hope do we need? Together, we reach for art that activates new relationships to embodiment, racial justice, climate crisis, species extinction, and environmentally located social pressures.

We invite you to come to these readings/artist talks/sharings, and catch glimpses of hope in hard times. 75 minutes, including time for Q+A.

Access Provision: The links in the running order below go to the relevant texts, for reading along. The exact excerpts from the longer texts are available via email – just contact Petra at
AUG 14, 7pm ET

Jose Oseguera (poem) “The Road

Marjorie Maddox (poem/image by Greg Mort) “At the American Visionary Art Museum: Return to the Moon

Vikram Ramakrishnan (short prose) “A Crack in the Ground that Went to the Other Side of the Earth

Megan Culhane Galbraith (video) “A Lover’s Discourse

Rebecca Ellis (poem) “Past Life Flyover

Carrie Albert (assemblage) “Blue Box

James B. Wells (prose) “Resurrecting My Father and Me

Pamela Uschuk (poem) “Learning to Handbuild Micaceous Pueblo Pots

Hansford C. Vest (prose) “There are Jaguars Along that Border


Jose Oseguera is an LA-based writer of poetry, short fiction and literary nonfiction. Having grown up in a primarily immigrant, urban environment, Jose has always been interested in the people and places around him, and the stories that each of these has to share. He has published over 100 pieces— poetry, short fiction and novellas— in a variety of literary journals. His poetry collection, The Milk of Your Blood, was released in February 2020. He’s currently working on his second novel, as well as his second poetry collection.

Marjorie Maddox is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University. She has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation and Local News from Someplace Else; the story collection What She Was Saying; and 4 children’s books. Much of her teaching and writing focus on place, including the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor, PSU Press, 2005) and a companion course on Pennsylvania Authors; plans for a 20th anniversary edition of the anthology are in process. Marjorie continues to collaborate with environmental activist and photographer Karen Elias on exhibits, presentations, and writing projects, including their collection Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For. In this Practices of Hope issue, Marjorie responds to Greg Mort’s painting Return to the Moon. To learn more about the artist as well as his treatment of place, astronomy, and the universe—please see

Vikram Ramakrishnan is a Tamil-American writer and computer programmer who lives in New York City. He loves to write fiction about fantastic worlds imbued with South Asian elements, often ones that mirror our ecological state of Earth. When he’s not writing, he’s visiting arboretums with his Siberian Husky, Kratos. His short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in NewfoundSAND Journal, and AE–The Canadian Science Fiction Review.

Megan Culhane Galbraith is a writer and visual artist. Her work was listed as Notable in Best American Essays 2017 and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in Tupelo Quarterly, About Place JournalRedividerLongreads, Hotel Amerika, Catapult, and Monkeybicycle, among others. Her hybrid memoir-in-essays, “The Guild of the Infant Saviour: An Adopted Child’s Memory Book,” is forthcoming from Mad Creek Books, Machete Series, in Spring 2021. She is the Associate Director at the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Rebecca Ellis lives in southern Illinois.  Her poems can be found in Bellevue Literary Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Sugar MuleSweet, Prairie SchoonerAdanna, RHINO, and Crab Creek Review. She previously edited Cherry Pie Press, publishing poetry chapbooks by Midwestern women poets. She is a Master Naturalist through the University of Illinois Extension Service, interested in local waterfowl counts and in urban trees.

Carrie Albert is a multifaceted artist and poet who lives in Seattle. Her drawings, collage and poems are featured there at Four Corners Art. Her visual art and poems have been published and/or featured in many diverse journals, such as cahoodaloodaling, Grey Sparrow, Foliate Oak, Earth’s Daughters, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Gargoyle. More of her work can be viewed at Penhead Press online, where she is a Poet-Artist in Residence.

James B. Wells is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He is on a quest to learn the truth about his father’s death, to attempt to find peace for him and his family, and to write about it. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at EKU’s Bluegrass Writing Studio. Recent essays from his in-progress memoir appear or are forthcoming in Collateral Journal, About Place Journal, Alternating Current Press, and Shift. His work has also recently been nominated for the Charter Oak Award for Best Historical.

Pam Uschuk has howled out six poetry collections, including CRAZY LOVE (American Book Award) and BLOOD FLOWER, 2015 Book List Notable Book. Translated into a dozen languages, her work appears in 300+ journals and anthologies. Her awards include New Millenium Poetry Prize, Best of the Web, Struga International Prize for a theme poem, Dorothy Daniels Writing Award (National League of American PEN Women). Editor of CUTTHROAT, A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS, Uschuk also edited the anthology, Truth To Power: Writers Respond To The Rhetoric Of Hate And Fear, 2017. Uschuk was named a Black Earth Institute Fellow for 2018–2021.

Jay Hansford C. Vest is Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. A Native American, he is an enrolled member of the federally recognized Monacan Indian Nation and he is also a direct descendant of 17th century Pamunkey leader Opechancanough, who arrested Captain John Smith as a murder suspect in 1607.

Reading Series: Practices of Hope journal issue

Full Recording of our first Reading (June 12th)

Full Recording of second Reading (July 10th):

Mark your calendar: SEPTEMBER 11, 7pm ET:

We will be ending our series with an editor reading, with guests.

DJ Lee and Petra Kuppers will read from their respective books, both of which appeared in March 2020 just at the beginning of the pandemic. Jacqueline Johnson, incoming editor for About Place’s next issue, will host this last event as a way of handing over the baton. She will also read from her work.

We will have three additional guests: Orchid Tierney, C.S. Giscombe, and Ashley Lucas.

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