Our Mineral Knowledges
In this six-week series, James and Danusha talk about writing as both ritual and mindfulness practice, bringing us all back to the source. We use poetry as an entry point into gratitude and hope, and as a cornerstone of resilience during these difficult and trying times. Whether you are a writer or not, you’re sure to come away from these heartening talks with a greater willingness to make space for joy and connection.
Each of the six 2-hour session begins with a talk with that week’s featured poet, followed by a discussion with Danusha and James, who read poems, offer gateways into accessing your own creative treasure troves, and share accompanying prompts. They answer questions from participants, and give further insights into the practice of poetry.
Each session includes a document with the poems and prompts shared and discussed.
Session 1 • Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye is the Young People's Poet Laureate of the United States (Poetry Foundation). Her most recent books are Everything Comes Next, Collected & New Poems, Cast Away (Poems about Trash), The Tiny Journalist, and Voices in the Air - Poems for Listeners. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Session 2 • Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar
Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection, The Book of Men, was awarded The Paterson Prize. Her fourth book of poems, Facts About the Moon won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also the author of Awake; What We Carry, a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Smoke; as well as a fine small press edition, The Book of Women. She is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Laux teaches poetry in the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program. Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected, was released by W.W. Norton in early 2019.
Joseph Millar's first collection, Overtime, was a finalist for the 2001 Oregon Book Award. His second collection, Fortune, appeared in 2007, followed by a third, Blue Rust, in 2012. His latest collection Kingdom was released in 2017. Millar grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Johns Hopkins University before spending 30 years in the San Francisco Bay area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. It would be two decades before he returned to poetry. His work—stark, clean, unsparing—records the narrative of a life fully lived among fathers, sons, brothers, daughters, weddings and divorce. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and Ploughshares. Millar teaches in Pacific University's low-residency MFA Program and in North Carolina State's MFA Program in Creative Writing.
Session 3 • Ellen Bass
Ellen Bass’s most recent collection, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her other poetry books include Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. Her poems appear frequently in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many other journals. Among her awards are Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and The California Arts Council, The Lambda Literary Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. She co-edited the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks!, and her nonfiction books include the groundbreaking The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bass founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and the Santa Cruz, California jails, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University.
Session 4 • Jane Hirshfield
Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently The Beauty, a San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year and long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. Her second collection of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, received the 2015 Northern California Book Award. Hirshfield’s work appears frequently in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, and eight editions of The Best American Poetry. Other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. In 2012 she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Session 5 • Nickole Brown
Nickole Brown's first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at a three different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won’t consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it—these poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature beautiful, but damaged and dangerous. The first of these new poems won Rattle's Chapbook Contest with the publication of To Those Who Were Our First Gods in 2018. A second chapbook from this project, an essay-in-poems called The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry in January 2020.
Session 6 • Ross Gay
Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, was released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019.
Ross is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Rosechard Wehrenberg, of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He also works on The Tenderness Project with Shayla Lawson and Essence London. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.
Danusha Laméris’ first book, The Moons of August (2014), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award. Some of her work has been published in: The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Orion, The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Her second book, Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series), was a finalist for the 2021 Paterson Poetry Award and recipient of the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. She was the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, California, and is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s low residency MFA program. www.danushalameris.com
James Crews is editor of the bestselling anthology, How to Love the World, featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, as well as in The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning collections of poetry: The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and The Sun. Crews teaches in the Poetry of Resilience seminars, and lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vermont. To sign up for weekly poems and prompts, visit: www.jamescrews.net.
Our Mineral Knowledges
$200Purchase Lifetime Access
The purchase of this series will provide you with online access to six 2-hour sessions (12 hours total) that were pre-recorded during a live, virtual series held on Zoom in June - July 2021. Each session can be viewed in video format or downloaded as an audio file (videos are not available to be downloaded). You will be provided with a login to access the recordings through the Poetry of Resilience website. Your purchase will provide you unlimited, lifetime access to this series. Purchases are non-refundable.