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Gut Botany

Poems by Petra Kuppers

Poetry, Michigan, Disabilities Studies, Nature

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Available March 2020
ISBN: 9780814347638
Pages: 96 Size: 6.5x8
Available March 2020
ISBN: 9780814347645

"Gut Botany charts my body / language living on indigenous land as a white settler and traveler," Petra Kuppers writes in the notes of her new poetry collection. Using a perfect cocktail of surrealist and situationalist techniques, Kuppers submits to the work and to the land, moving through ancient fish, wounded bodies, and the space around her. Through this book, the reader learns to navigate their own body through the peaks and pitfalls of pain, survival, sensual joy, and healing.

Gut Botanyis divided into eight sections. In "Court Theatre," Kuppers revisits courtroom performances following her sexual assault while drawing from the works of Perel and Bhanu Kapil. "Asylum" grew out of the Asylum Project performance experiments that Kuppers co-directed with dancer/poet Stephanie Heit. "Moon Botany" began as a collaboration with visual artist Sharon Siskin and offers a wheelchair user’s view of insects, mushrooms, and horsetail ferns. Amber DiPetra notes that "this book is beautiful when it needs to be beautiful and it is edgy when it needs to be edgy and that is the sign of writing that matters."

Readers looking for experimental poetry that takes up space in their brains and bodies will dive deep and fast into this ecopoetic collection.

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a professor of English and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. She is author of the poetry collection PearlStitch, the queer/crip speculative story collection Ice Bar, and multiple academic books. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she co-creates Turtle Disco, a community arts space.