A Lit Chat Interview with Camille Dungy

Friday, June 16, 2023

Lit Chat Interview with Camille Dungy

#Planting Seeds with Poet Camille Dungy

Jacksonville Public Library and St. Johns Riverkeeper are partnering up to bring you two great events with author and poet Camille Dungy on Saturday, June 24. In her newest book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominately white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. When she moved there in 2013, with her husband and daughter, the community held strict restrictions about what residents could and could not plant in their gardens.

In resistance to the homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national discourse about the environment is the best means of protecting it.


Lit Chat Interview with Camille Dungy, Saturday, June 24 at 2 p.m. This event will take place live at the Bradham and Brooks Library and live online via Zoom. Books will be available to purchase on-site from Femme Fire Books or you can bring a copy purchased from your favorite bookseller.

#Register for the Lit Chat!

#Bonus Event: Planting Seeds Poetry Workshop

St. Johns Riverkeeper will also host Camille Dungy from 12 - 1:30 p.m. at Riverview Park for a Planting Seeds: Poetry Workshop. With the Trout River as a backdrop, Dungy will help you explore ways to see your own work in relation to the living world around us. Following a series of prompts and possibilities, this workshop will give you a chance to start growing in new directions on the page. You'll also explore various strategies for how to get started, how to keep going, and how to improve what you’ve already written.

#Attend the Poetry Workshop!

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Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade, winner of the Colorado Book Award. She is also the author of the essay collections Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden and Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dungy has also edited anthologies including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, her honors include NEA Fellowships in poetry (2003) and prose (2018), an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and two Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominations. Dungy’s poems have been published in Best American PoetryThe 100 Best African American Poems, the Pushcart AnthologyBest American Travel Writing, and over thirty other anthologies. She is University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University.

Interviewer Nikesha Elise Williams is a two-time Emmy award winning producer, an award-winning author, and producer and host of the Black & Published podcast. Her latest novel, The Seven Daughters of Dupree was acquired by Scout Press and will be published in 2025. A Chicago native, Nikesha is a columnist with JAX Today. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and VOX. She lives in Florida with her family.


Check out Camille’s work from the library!


More poetry collections from fabulous black poets:


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