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North Carolina Ecofeminism: A Poetry Reading by Sumita Chakraborty and Destiny Hemphill

Speaker headshots
Tuesday, March 05, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sumita Chakraborty, Destiny Hemphill

Please join ENTANGLEMENT: STRANGE LIFE and Art and the (De)Colonial Garden for "North Carolina Ecofeminism: A Poetry Reading by Sumita Chakraborty and Destiny Hemphill."

Destiny Hemphill's poetry invites her readers into worldbuilding dialogue: "Let's be each other's oracles." Hemphill, a ritual worker based in Durham, published her debut collection motherworld: a devotional for the alter-life with Action Books in 2023. Drawing from Afro-pessimism, Black mysticism, and critical geography, Hemphill's work engages with ancestors, ritual forms, prophecy, topography, earth, and embodiment in acts of radical and courageous healing. She "tend[s] to the dream that what we need & what others have believed/to be found nowhere can be found now, here." Hemphill teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Sumita Chakraborty's work embraces the transformative potential of earth: the rich matter of mountains, moons, deer, bones, sisters. Her debut poetry collection Arrow won the 2020 Alice James Award and was published by Carcanet Press. Her poems summon spirit and testify to the ways in which "we live our lives chained to earth." Her scholarly manuscript Grave Dangers, under contract with the University of Minnesota Press, calls for "a more robust framework for dwelling within death that neither courts vitalism nor thanatopolitics" and turns to contemporary poetics as an archive that can provide such a framework. Chakraborty is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at North Carolina State University.

STRANGE LIFE is part of The Entanglement Project, a multi-stranded initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute focused on race, health, and climate convened by Priscilla Wald (R. Florence Brinkley Distinguished Professor of English).

Contact: Nicole Gaglia