Camille T. Dungy, the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry will be reading at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (980 Liberty Ave, Downtown Pittsburgh) as part of the PITT Contemporary Writers Series on March 24 at 7 p.m.
There will also be a discussion with Dungy at 2pm in room G8 Cathedral of learning on March 25. In the meantime, you can listen to her read poems from Black Nature, including the following poem, on NPR:
Silence is one part of speech, the war cry
of wind down a mountain pass another.
A stranger’s voice echoing through lonely
valleys, a lover’s voice rising so close
it’s your own tongue: these are keys to cipher,
the way the high hawk’s key unlocks the throat
of the sky and the coyote’s yip knocks
it shut, the way the aspens’ bells conform
to the breeze while the rapid’s drum defines
resistance. Sage speaks with one voice, pinyon
with another. Rock, wind her hand, water
her brush, spells and then scatters her demands.
some notes tear and pebble our paths. Some notes
gather: the bank we map our lives around.
From Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille T. Dungy. Copyright 2006 by Camille T. Dungy. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.