Named in honor of James and Marilou Kelly, the Kelly Writer Series brings prominent, current, and sometimes rebellious voices to the DePauw University campus. Hosted at the Thompson Recital Hall, free of charge, and open to the public just like every event in the Kelly Writer Series. This talk features Camille T. Dungy speaking about her newest novel, In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden.
Camille T. Dungy was born and raised in the western United States (Colorado and California), though she has lived briefly in most other regions of the U.S. and has spent time on all but one continent and several countries. Dungy attributes some of the energy in her writing to both her delight in going new places and meeting new people and the good fortune of having a beautiful place to root down and call home. In much of her writing, Dungy considers history, landscape, culture, family, and desire. Her latest book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden will be published by Simon and Schuster on May 2, 2023.
In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, poet and scholar Camille T. Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominantly white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. When she moved there in 2013 with her husband and daughter, the community held restrictions about what residents could and could not plant in their gardens. In resistance to the homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national discourse about the environment is the best means of protecting it.