SkyWords Visiting Writers Series connects students and the Durango community with emerging and established writers in dialogue about the power of story. SkyWords provides a space for engagement in discussion about narrative, writing craft, and the big ideas engaging our culture. The diversity of voices, backgrounds, traditions, and visions for the future showcased by SkyWords writers captures the possibilities writing offers for connection, understanding, and change.
We are excited to announce our 2022 Common Reading Experience author, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natalie Diaz. Please join us in dialogue around Diaz's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry, Postcolonial Love Poem, made possible in part by generous funding from Natural Pathways Foundation, a Colorado Foundation based in Durango.
February 14,2023 - 12:30-2:30, Vallecito Room -Open to the Fort Lewis College Campus Community.
Natalie Diaz: Postcolonial Love Poem Workshop + Reading
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press, and her second book, Postcolonial Love Poem, was published by Graywolf Press in March 2020.
"Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages - bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers - be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness." - Graywolf Press
Copies of Postcolonial Love Poem are available for all Fort Lewis students, faculty, and staff. Please come by the Provost's office (240 Berndt Hall) to pick up your copy!
Press release for Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natalie Diaz.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. In 2022, Braiding Sweetgrass was adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith. This new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.
Robin tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. In 2022 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.
“Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings…offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections…she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.”
Teow Lim Goh is the author of two poetry collections, Islanders (2016) and Faraway Places (2021), and an essay collection Western Journeys (2022). Her essays, poetry, and criticism have been featured in The Georgia Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, PBS NewsHour, and The New Yorker.
Teow Lim Goh is an essayist and poet who writes from the nexus of people and place. One of her ongoing projects is to recover the histories of Chinese immigrants in the American West. Her first book Islanders, which appeared in 2016, is a volume of poems on Chinese exclusion and detention at the Angel Island Immigration Station at the beginning of the 20th century. The New Yorker writes of this work, “Teow Lim Goh imagines English-language versions of the poems that Chinese women might have composed... Throughout the slim volume, Goh presents wounds that strip searches, medical exams, and extended interrogations did not reveal.”
In her current book Western Journeys, she charts her own immigration journeys while building on the longer history of immigrants from Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, bringing various, and often new insights to places, the historical record, and memory. These vital essays consider how we access truth in the face of erasure. In exploring history, nature, politics, and art, she asks, “What does it mean for an immigrant to be at home?”
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