In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is Camille T. Dungy’s Trophic Cascade, a collection of poems that observe and take note of all that is around us – new babies and new growth are beautiful and hopeful, but they share space with elderly relatives passing on, the corpse of a dead blue whale. Trophic Cascade is caught up in the physicality of the earth and motherhood -many of the poems in this collection focus on what it is to be a Black mother and the inherited trauma that cannot be denied. Dungy takes refuge in new life and the rebirth of every day: “I reintroduced myself to myself, this time/
a mother. After which, nothing was ever the same.”
Camille T. Dungy is an essayist, the author of four books of poetry, and the poetry editor at Orion Magazine. An active voice in the environmental movement, Dungy was a 2019 Guggenheim recipient for her work in poetry and prose. Dungy lives and writes in Fort Collins, CO, and she is currently a professor in the English Department at Colorado State University. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!