Around a year and a half ago, we invited eight of our favorite contemporary poets to Tucson to talk with us about climate change and poetry. We wrote to Aracelis Girmay, Brenda Hillman, Brian Teare, Camille Dungy, Joy Harjo, Robert Hass, and Ross Gay, inviting them to present what we were calling “investigative readings”—part poetry reading, part talk.
To all of the presenters, we asked the same pair of core questions: What role does poetry have in envisioning, articulating, and/or challenging, our ecological present? And what role does poetry have in anticipating our future, in imagining otherwise?
At the end of each night, I left with my jaw on the floor at the beauty, the magnitude, the generosity, and the fierce intelligence of the eight poets who joined us.