Picture of author.

Camille T. Dungy

Autor(a) de Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden

11+ Works 503 Membros 8 Críticas

About the Author

Camille T. Dungy is the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, the author of four prize-winning poetry collections, and author of the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers.

Includes the name: CAMILLE DUNGY

Image credit: Dungy at the 2018 U.S. National Book Festival By Fuzheado - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72310771

Obras por Camille T. Dungy

Associated Works

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (2021) — Contribuidor — 1,528 exemplares
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contribuidor — 177 exemplares
The Best American Essays 2019 (2019) — Contribuidor — 132 exemplares
The Language of Trees (2023) — Contribuidor — 123 exemplares
The 100 Best African American Poems (2010) — Contribuidor — 98 exemplares
The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (2002) — Contribuidor — 82 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2014 (2014) — Contribuidor — 81 exemplares
Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (2016) — Contribuidor — 57 exemplares
The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013) — Contribuidor — 49 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2021 (2021) — Contribuidor — 48 exemplares
The Best American Poetry 2022 (The Best American Poetry series) (2022) — Contribuidor — 43 exemplares
The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007) — Contribuidor — 34 exemplares
This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets (2024) — Contribuidor — 29 exemplares
The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers (2018) — Contribuidor — 23 exemplares
The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (2017) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares
Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (2019) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
Bearden's Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (2017) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (2018) — Prefácio — 9 exemplares
Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy (2020) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



A great book.
It encompasses not only the challenges of being a gardener in an suburban area but being a black gardener in white America. She includes a lot of history of her family in particular and more general descriptions of racism in America. Thoughtful, wide ranging read.
Catherine.Cox | 5 outras críticas | Jun 13, 2024 |
Dungy's book is subtitled The Story of a Black Mother's Garden and metaphorically, this parenthetical is apt. Equally as many words are devoted to the Mother as to the Garden, and though my strongest impression is of the person, I recognized my own challenges with urban gardening in Dungy's efforts to transform a residential plot from uniform sod to something closer to indigenous prairie.

So many foundational environmentally focused books, seemed to have no other people in it. The (nearly always white) men and women who claim to be models for how to truly experience the natural world always seemed to do so in solitude. Just one guy --so often a guy-- with no evidence of family or anyone to worry about but himself. [66]

Dungy's gardening proves an effective means of arranging her thoughts on meditation, race in community, family history, genre criticism (in this case, nature writing), and yes -- Dungy is an accomplished poet -- verse and poetic reflections. So while the word count may not reflect an overly predominant concern with gardening or nature writing, her myriad thoughts circle back to her garden, return home to her: a gardener.

I want what is inside my doors to be part of this conversation. I don't want to separate my life from other lives on the planet.
Ecological thought, conservationist thought, the thoughts of the gardener -- these should foster nurturing and collaborative relationships with other life-forms, including those we've long-called wild. This planet is home to us all. All who live in this house are family. [...] My life demands a radically domestic ecological thought.


Dungy separates her "essays" with her own photographs from garden and yard, and with her poetry. There are no formal chapter breaks or titles, and I came to think of these interludes as clearings, akin to spaces between flower beds, or the lane between garden rows: just enough to give a sense of margin, to walk from one area to another without harming the growing things, but not so much as to define a footpath or verge. That some of these markers were poems suggested, too, that words and images took the place of line breaks and verse forms.

Dungy designed custom illustrations, black-and-white for the front flyleaf and colour for the back, depicting her home plot before her gardening, and after.

They frighten me, these thoughts of long months when I don't have my garden to give me something to do with my hope and my hands. [287]
… (mais)
1 vote
elenchus | 5 outras críticas | Mar 18, 2024 |
There's a lot to like about Soil: the story of a black mother's garden, written by Camille T. Dungy. While it seems simple on the surface, it is a complex interweaving stories. It's the story of the author and her husband and daughter working to replace their sod, monocultural lawn in Colorado with a diversity of drought resistant plants, including many that are native to the area.

It's also the story of the author's extended family, including the lynching of a great-great uncle because he had a car that was too nice and new, sending her great-great grandfather out of Louisiana except for visits to family. Her grandparent's teaching in a black school in Lynchburg, VA, where the only blacks allowed on the Randolph Macon campus were workers – cooks, cleaners, gardeners, maintenance, etc. And Camille's tenure there at, teaching at the college. Of her grandfather's brother Hugh traveling to Colorado Springs in the summers to attend what became the University of Colorado since he wasn't allowed attend college in his home state. Of her parents moving there from California, and Roy and Camille and their daughter moving there for university jobs in 2013. And it's the story of how this family, and African-Americans more generally, are treated in the past and the present, including the fear Roy and Camille felt and the harassment of African-American students on their way to class in Colorado Springs after the 2016 Presidential elections.

And it's the story of 2020, the year Dungy was planning to spend working on her poetry via a Guggenheim fellowship, which changed completely with COVID since she had a daughter whose schooling at home she needed to supervise, which led to her reflection on how much nature writing was about nature with no people and no families in it, and some of the women who are writing their families into their nature writing.

This won't be my favorite books of the year, but I wish I'd purchased this one to be able to look back at.
… (mais)
1 vote
markon | 5 outras críticas | Feb 12, 2024 |
There is much inside Dungy's memoir, making in more than a simple story of turning a Colorado yard into a Prairie Garden. "Soil" is one of those books I picked up thinking it would merit a quick thumbing through. Instead, I found myself reading it slowly, carefully, finding it full of interesting and useful stories.

There is her history, her parents, grandparents, daughter, husband, and the history of Black people in America over four centuries of repression and inequality of the worst kind.

She tells about nature literature and environmental writing, how it has been and continues to be dominated by white, male authors who seemed to have no families, no children, and nothing else to do but wander the landscape and write about it.

It is also about her growing education about plants, animals, their interactions and their relationships with us human animals with our destructive ways. I should have paid more attention to her biological details, but still learned much from her descriptions of soil, climate and seasons.

Camille T Dungy is a poet, a memoirist, an essayist, I need to read more of.
… (mais)
2 vote
mykl-s | 5 outras críticas | Sep 2, 2023 |



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