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Published on Mar 19, 2010
A Symposium on the First Anthology of Nature Writing by African-American Poets
A several-day event at the UC Berkeley campus will celebrate the publication of the first-ever anthology of nature writing by African-American poets. The volume, entitled Black Nature, was published by the University of Georgia Press in December 2009. The editor of the anthology is the poet, Prof. Camille Dungy, of San Francisco State University.
This publication of Black Nature is a significant event in American letters. The natural world has a long history as a topic in American literature, but all previous discussion of nature writing has focused on the work of white authors. Nature writing, as a literary category, has continued to exist as a white category; the tables of contents of national and regional anthologies bear this out. Black Nature, which includes the work of 93 writers, reaches back as far as Phillis Wheatley, and it extends through the modernist examples of Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden to the contemporary avant-garde work of Clarence Major and Harryette Mullen. Panelists are contributors to Black Nature, including the writers Harryette Mullen, Ed Roberson, Evie Shockley, Natasha Tretheway, and Al Young, will read from their work and participate in public discussions on the literary and environmental issues raised by the new anthology.
Prof. C.S. Giscombe, UC Berkeley Prof. Robert Hass, UC Berkeley Prof. Camille Dungy, SFSU
Prof. Carolyn Finney, UC Berkeley Prof. Harryette Mullen, UCLA Mr. Ed Roberson, poet Prof. Carl Phillips, Washington University Prof. Evie Shockley, Rutgers University Prof. Al Young, Stanford University (retired)