By Rachel Gaisford

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the College of Liberal Arts is highlighting the environmental research and creative artistry of some of our outstanding faculty. Liberal arts disciplines bring a unique and human perspective to issues of the environment, with research and creative artistry that explores difficult issues, enables understanding, and promotes engaged dialogue.

American poet and essayist Camille Dungy is a professor in the Department of English. Her work explores both environmental and socio-cultural issues including race, community, and parenthood. For Earth Day 2020, she shares three poems exploring our relationships with the natural world and with each other – How she keeps faithCharacteristics of Life, and How great the gardens when they thrive.

Camille Dungy portrait
Camille Dungy

Professor Dungy has taught the Intermediate and Advanced Poetry Workshop, Environmental Literature, Writing the Environment, African American Literature, Recent U.S. Poetry, and graduate seminars in Docupoetics, Kinship and Community, and Literary Mapping. She is the author of the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History (W. W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. Her honors include a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award Nominations, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in both prose and poetry.