Eco-Justice for All!

City of Asylum’s All Pittsburghers are Poets presents Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe, a project developed by City of Asylum’s Poet Laureate of Allegheny County Celeste Gainey. We invite you to join us, through reading, writing, and live performance, in the following inquiry:

How can poets use language to reveal, grapple with, even influence the urgent climate crisis and all those it affects? What happens when we explore this intersection in community to make a caring way through the Anthropocene?


SATURDAY, June 12, 5:00 PM
Eco-Justice for All!

Dreaming Interruptions: Workshop with Joy Katz
Run time: 90 minutes
IN-PERSON ONLY at the Alphabet Reading Garden, 1406 Monterey Street

In this workshop, Joy Katz, poet and social practice artist, offers writing prompts to help you dream up an interruption. What’s an interruption? A modest, even playful way to draw attention to an injustice that already exists and that you are already thinking about. After group discussion, writing, and conversation with Joy, participants will wind up with instructions for their own interruption they can realize.

*Please note special venue*: the workshop with Joy Katz will be held in-person at the Alphabet Reading Garden at 1406 Monterey Street. Chairs, water, and writing instruments will be provided. In the case of inclement weather, this workshop will be held on Zoom.

FRIDAY, July 16, 7:00 PM
Eco-Justice for All!

Reading with CAConrad
Run time: 60 minutes

City of Asylum is excited to present CAConrad, author of Ecodeviance: (Soma)tics for Future Wildness in the series Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe. The Pennsylvania-born poet brings together poetry and ritual to contemplate life and the self from the cosmic to the mundane. This reading will be live streamed at the City of Asylum @ Home virtual channel.

THURSDAY, July 29, 7:00-PM EDT
Eco-Justice for All! Reading ft. Camille T. Dungy

Run time: 60 minutes

City of Asylum is excited to present Camille T. Dungy, author of Trophic Cascade and editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African Nature Poetry and History in the series Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe. Dungy has introduced new ways of thinking about nature poetry while honoring the contribution of African American poets in this genre. In Trophic Cascade, Dungy writes through despair into hope on the subject of environmental degradation. This reading will be streamed on our virtual channel City of Asylum @ Home.

SUNDAY, June 6, 5:00 PM
Eco-Justice for All! Reading

ft. Celeste Gainey,
Run time: 60 minutes

Join Celeste Gainey and fellow poets in our region, Doralee BrooksSheila L. CarterJonesRobin ClarkeBonita Lee Penn, and Scott Silsbe, for a virtual poetry reading to launch Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe streamed at the City of Asylum @ Home virtual channel. 

Submit Your Eco-Justice Poem

City of Asylum’s Poet Laureate of Allegheny County invites writers to submit 1 new, original poem that speaks to the following question: “How can poets use language to reveal, grapple with, even influence the urgent climate crisis and all those it affects?”

Poems will be reviewed by an editorial committee for publication in the fall 2021 zine Eco-Justice for All! Poetry Confronts Climate Catastrophe. Authors of selected poems will receive $20 and will retain the rights to their work. You may only apply once during this submission period. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Eco-Justice for All! Reading List

Enjoy this selection of 5 poetry and 5 nonfiction books on the theme of eco-justice curated by our Poet Laureate of Allegheny. Reserve your copies from the City of Asylum Bookstore.

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry
edited by Joy Harjo, LeAnne Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster

Trophic Cascade
by Camille T. Dungy

Ecodeviance: (Soma)Tics for the Future Wilderness
by CAConrad

Postcolonial Love Poem
by Natalie Diaz

Lake Michigan
by Daniel Borzutsky

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
anthology edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkenson

Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and what We Can Do About It
by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
by Heather McGhee

On Time and Water
by Andri Snaer Magnason

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
by Elizabeth Kolbert

Eco-Justice for All! Listens

Want to learn more about the intersection of racial and environmental justice? Eco-Justice for All! recommends these podcasts below:

  • Climate One – Candid discussion about energy, economy and the environment from climate scientists, policymakers, activists, and concerned citizens.
  • All My Relations – Guests delve into a different topic facing Native American peoples today, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip), and Desi Small Rodriguez (Northern Cheyenne).
  • 1619 –  Tracing the history of slavery and colonization in the US hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones.
  • Urban Political – Advancing our understanding of urban environments and how we might make them more just and democratic.
  • Warm Regards – The often unexpected human stories behind climate data, from how it’s collected to what we do with it.
  • Drilled – A true-crime podcast about climate change, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt.
  • Mothers of Invention – Meet a host of game-changing women fighting to save all our lives.
  • No Place Like Home – Getting to the heart of climate change through personal stories.
  • Displaced – Hosted by Grant Gordon and Ravi Gurumurthy from the International Rescue Committee, they examine global humanitarian crises with international experts.
  • The Response – Exploring how to build collective resilience in the wake of disasters.
  • Hot Take – Taking a feminist, race-forward lens to climate change.
  • Political Climate – A bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental politics in America.

Land Acknowledgement

Eco-Justice for All! recognizes that the land City of Asylum occupies belongs to Indigenous peoples who were violently displaced by European and American colonization. We acknowledge the Monongahela, the Haudenosaunee (including Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes), the Lenape, the Shawnee, and the Osage peoples who stewarded this land and whose descendants continue to thrive amidst ongoing colonization. We celebrate the contributions of Indigenous culture bearers in this region today and the work of the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center. 

City of Asylum is grateful for the support of the following partner:

This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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