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?


SUNDAY, June 6, 5:00 PM

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. 

SATURDAY, June 12, 5:00 PM
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.

FRIDAY, July 16, 7:00-8:00 PM
Reading with CAConrad
Run time: 60 minutes

Praise for CA Conrad from our Poet Laureate Celeste Gainey: “If poetry is the interior, emotional landscape of our planet, then CA Conrad is our queer aurora borealis, illuminating how to live in, love, and care for the imperiled eco-system we humans have wrought; how to hold each other until, as Baldwin says, ‘the light goes out.’”

Join them in conversation during CA’s reading on our virtual channel City of Asylum @ Home.

THURSDAY, July 29, 7:00-8:00 PM EDT
Reading with Camille T. Dungy

Run time: 60 minutes

Praise for Camille T. Dungy from our Poet Laureate Celeste Gainey: “For the past quarter century, Camille Dungy’s poetry has been in the vanguard, not only with her own collections, but especially with her editing of the 2009 anthology, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, restoring so many African American poets as rightful inventors and innovators within the canon of American eco-poetry. Her poems have a dignity and humanity that speaks to all.”

Join them in conversation during Dungy’s reading on our virtual channel City of Asylum @ Home.

THURSDAY, August 5, 6:00-7:30 PM EDT
Wake up and Change the Narrative:

Workshop with Caitlyn Hunter
Run time: 90 minutes

In this workshop, participants will consider climate change as a state of being and displacement–that it isn’t just about weather. We will look at poems by Simon Ortiz and Nikki Finney to guide our thinking about our own relationships to land, and we will use these poems as guiding prompts to write in the wake and challenge master narratives that often leave little room to include marginalized identities. This is an in-person only workshop at the Sampsonia Way Tent (318 Sampsonia Way). Seats are limited and advance registration is encouraged.

THURSDAY, August 19, 7:00-8:00 PM EDT
Reading with Brenda Hillman

Run time: 60 minutes

Praise for Brenda Hillman from our Poet Laureate Celeste Gainey: “Brenda Hillman’s poems embrace all aspects of what it means to be alive in this tenuous world at this dangerous moment. However you identify, you are most probably, at this very moment, a part of the pulsing, mysterious articulation that is a Brenda Hillman poem.”

Join them in conversation during Hillman’s reading on our virtual channel City of Asylum @ Home.

THURSDAY, August 26, 6:00-7:30 PM
Incomprehensible, Inevitable: Workshop with S. Brook Corfman

Run time: 90 minutes

In this workshop, participants will consider the narrative power of the idea that we live “under” climate change. With time spent reading, generating, and shaping poems, participants will leave with drafts seeking their own connections and negotiating their own paths through the different scales of climate violence. This is an in-person only workshop led by acclaimed poet S. Brook Corfman at the Sampsonia Way Tent (318 Sampsonia Way). Seats are limited and advance registration is encouraged.

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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