What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature

What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature

Regular price $12.50 $0.00 Unit price per

Editor: Nikki Wallschlaeger

Publisher: Pangyrus (2021)

Contributors: Clariss Álvarez, Derrick Austin, Prince Bush, Tyree Daye, Jeni De Le O, ayy Dodd, Danielle Legros Georges, Kelsey Marie Harris, S*an D. Henry-SMith, Faylita Hucks, Petero Kalulé, ML Kejera, Donika Kelly, Irène Mathieu, Shane McCrae, upfromsumdirt, and J. Stephen Whitney

What Tells You Ripeness represents several firsts—Pangyrus’s first guest editorship, and first book publication—and an important second.  Guest poetry editor Nikki Wallschlaeger aims to continue the groundbreaking work of Camille T. Dungy, whose anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, was published in 2009. 

What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature offers an incredible lineup of poets writing about nature, including Danielle Legros Georges, Faylita Hicks, Kelsey Marie Harris, M.L. Kejera, J. Stephen Whitney, upfromsumdirt, and many others.

In Wallschlaeger’s words: “I think it’s important to highlight, during this time, that white supremacy and trauma are not the only topics Black writers are capable of writing about. The natural world itself is not racist. Isn’t that great? We can at least have that—as a space of connection, abundance, and complexity.”

Pangyrus is grateful to artist Keith Morris Washington for his generous permission to use Willie Minnefield: Swamp; Yazoo City, Mississippi as the cover art for What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature. The painting is from Washington’s series Within Our Gates, an ongoing project depicting lynching sites throughout the United States.