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Join Pangyrus Literary Magazine the evening of April 22, 2021 for the launch of What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature.  Guest editor Nikki Wallschlaeger and poetry editor Cheryl Clark Vermeulen present an incredible lineup of poets, including Danielle Legros Georges, Faylita Hicks, Kelsey Marie Harris, M.L. Kejera, J. Stephen Whitney, and upfromsumdirt.

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. 

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.

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.”Event details: Join us on April 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm ET

Hear from Nikki Wallschlaeger, the guest editor of What Tells You Ripeness, as well as Cheryl Clark Vermeulen, poetry editor of Pangyrus, with readings by:

  • Danielle Legros Georges
  • upfromsomdirt
  • Kelsey Marie Harris
  • Faylita Hicks
  • M.L. Kejera
  • J. Stephen Whitney

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in  The Nation, Brick, American Poetry Review, Witness, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections  Houses (Horseless Press 2015), Crawlspace (Bloof 2017), the graphic book  I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (Bloof Books 2019), and the forthcoming Waterbaby (Copper Canyon 2021). She is also the author of an artist book called “Operation USA” through the Baltimore-based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. 

Join us on April 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm ET