In A Body As Queer As Nature: on a queer.femme.ancestral ecopoetics: A Panel and Reading


This panel takes up the question of eco-poetics as a queer, indigenous, and femme practice. The panelists will discuss their relationships to land-body intimacies, and the overt and discreet ways these concerns manifest in their work. How does ecopoetic practice link us to the collective? We will discuss naming as both a personal and writerly problem and the related issue of sounding—how do we invoke connection with our local ecosystems while experiencing disconnection from ancestral languages and lands? How do we access ancestral knowledge with broken lines? We will discuss the freedoms and the limits.

Panelists: Catalina Ouyang, Alison Rollins, Alison Smith with Maura Pellettieri moderating.



Catalina Ouyang is a visual artist and child of the Chinese diaspora by way of St. Louis, New Jersey, and a cul-de-sac outside of Chicago. Her non-disciplinary practice spans sculpture, text, installation, performance, video, and participatory projects, among other modalities, exploring the interstices of myth, desire, subjugation, and monstrosity. Ouyang has had solo exhibitions at Rubber Factory (New York, NY), Selena Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Make Room (Los Angeles, CA), Trestle Projects (Brooklyn, NY), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis, MO), and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO). Her work has been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Italy, Germany, Mexico, and China. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University.


Maura Pellettieri is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her current work focuses on the relationship of the femme body to climate-based traumas. Since 2013, she has collaborated with visual artists in a variety of mediums, as well as with composers and writers. She has performed, curated, and installed works in St. Louis and New York, as well as at numerous rural sites. Her writing appears in On the SeawallThe Kenyon ReviewThe Literary ReviewDenver QuarterlyNewfoundFairy Tale ReviewTupelo QuarterlyVinylGuernicaApogeeTammy, and others. Her work has been supported by grants and residencies from Seguin Maine, The Yiddish Book Center, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis.


Alison C. Rollins is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow. A Pushcart Prize winner her poems have appeared in American Poetry ReviewCrazyhorsePoetryand elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. In 2018 she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press) is available now.


Allison Smith's practice investigates the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment as the ritualized performance of unresolved trauma. Through apprenticeships with culture bearers across traditions, she creates sculptures with a curative potential, serving as keys for time travel and the possibility of healing past, present, and future generations. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at P.S.1/MoMA, SFMOMA, Palais de Tokyo, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, MASS MoCA, the Tang Museum, among many others. She lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Ohlone peoples in the San Francisco Bay. Area. 


Event date: 
Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Library of Small Catastrophes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556595394
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 23rd, 2019
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