What Tells You Ripeness: Black Poets on Nature.
Edited by Nikki Wallschlaeger
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.
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.”
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.