Writer and Poet Camille Dungy to Give Glasgow Endowment Reading at W&L Dungy’s public reading will take place Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in Northen Auditorium inside Leyburn Library.
Washington and Lee University presents a public reading with award-winning poet Camille Dungy on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library. The event is sponsored by the Glasgow Endowment.
Dungy will read from her memoir, “Guidebook to Relative Strangers,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and from her poetry collection, “Trophic Cascade.” The lecture is free and open to the public, and there will be copies of both books for sale following the event.
Throughout her weeklong residency at W&L, Dungy will be teaching a one-credit master class in creative nonfiction to eight undergraduate students who competed for spots in the class. At the conclusion of the workshop, the students will give a public reading of their works in progress on Friday, March 3, at 12:15 p.m. in Payne Hall, room 201. The students’ reading is also free and open to the public.
“We’re thrilled to host the accomplished nonfiction writer and poet Camille Dungy as this year’s Glasgow Distinguished Visiting Writer in Residence,” said Lesley Wheeler, Henry S. Fox Professor of English at W&L and poetry editor for Shenandoah magazine. “This program enriches W&L’s curriculum and increases the variety of opportunities for our many talented undergraduate writers.”
Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry and two essay collections, and her writings explore themes of history, landscape, culture, family and desire. In her forthcoming essay collection, “Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden,” Dungy expands how we talk about the natural world and the environment by chronicling her seven-year journey to diversify her garden in the predominantly white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. She draws parallels between her efforts to diversify her own garden and broader conversations about the dangers of homogeneity, exploring why cultivating diverse and intersectional language to talk about the environment is the best way to protect it. “Soil” has received advance praise for its “delicate and resilient exploration of gardening, motherhood, memory [and] love,” and has been described as provocative, intoxicating and transformative.
Dungy is also the editor of several anthologies, including “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry,” the first anthology to focus on environmental poetry by African American writers. She currently serves as the poetry editor for “Orion” magazine and her work has been featured in over 40 anthologies and dozens of print and online publications around the world. Dungy is also the host of “Immaterial,” a podcast from New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Magnificent Noise.
A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, Dungy has also received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Diane Middlebrook Residency Fellowship of the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and other organizations. She is the recipient of two NAACP Image Award nominations and two Hurson/Wright Legacy Award nominations. She is currently a University Distinguished Professor of English at Colorado State University.