Camille T. Dungy Art Works Podcast

    • Visual Arts

Award-winning writer and two-time NEA Literature Fellow Camille T. Dungy is one of the significant voices in ecopoetry. Ecopoetry is a challenge to classic nature poetry, which was often written by poets who observed nature rather than seeing themselves as part of the natural world. Ecopoetry dispels this illusion: “outside of nature” doesn’t exist. Ecopoetry probes the complexities and interconnections of all parts of the natural world. In a genre long been dominated by white voices, Dungy explores these entangled connections between humans and nature from her position as a Black woman in the United States. She does so with precise detail, rhythmic lyricism, and a broad inclusiveness. The author of four collections of poetry, Dungy is also the editor of the 2009 path-breaking anthology, Black Nature: Four Hundred Years of African-American Nature Writing. The anthology insists that the place of Black nature poets be recognized on their own terms: as writers whose connection to nature is complicated by history. In other words, existing outside of history is as impossible as existing outside of nature. In this poetry-filled podcast, Dungy discusses the issues around the absence of Black voices in anthologies of environmental poetry, editing and organizing Black Nature, her own work as a poet, and the significance of environmental poetry.

Award-winning writer and two-time NEA Literature Fellow Camille T. Dungy is one of the significant voices in ecopoetry. Ecopoetry is a challenge to classic nature poetry, which was often written by poets who observed nature rather than seeing themselves as part of the natural world. Ecopoetry dispels this illusion: “outside of nature” doesn’t exist. Ecopoetry probes the complexities and interconnections of all parts of the natural world. In a genre long been dominated by white voices, Dungy explores these entangled connections between humans and nature from her position as a Black woman in the United States. She does so with precise detail, rhythmic lyricism, and a broad inclusiveness. The author of four collections of poetry, Dungy is also the editor of the 2009 path-breaking anthology, Black Nature: Four Hundred Years of African-American Nature Writing. The anthology insists that the place of Black nature poets be recognized on their own terms: as writers whose connection to nature is complicated by history. In other words, existing outside of history is as impossible as existing outside of nature. In this poetry-filled podcast, Dungy discusses the issues around the absence of Black voices in anthologies of environmental poetry, editing and organizing Black Nature, her own work as a poet, and the significance of environmental poetry.