Poetry and the Senses Spring 2023

Noʻu Revilla, D. Kealiʻi MacKenzie, and Donovan Kūhiō Colleps

Engaging the Senses Foundation is pleased to share updates on our wonderful partners. We begin with the ground-breaking work being accomplished in the fourth year of the ETSF-supported Poetry and the Senses Initiative at Arts Research Center (ARC) at the University of California Berkeley. ARC acts as a think tank for the arts- a hub and a space for reflection where artists, scholars, curators, and civic arts leaders from a variety of disciplines can gather and learn. 

Poetry and the Senses is headed by Dean of Arts and Humanities Sara Guyer, who also serves as President of the International Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes; is overseen by ARC’s Faculty Director, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English Beth Piatote, an Indigenous language activist and a founding member of luk’upsíimey/North Star Collective; and is managed by poet, artist, art administrator and educator Laurie Macfee, ARC’s Associate Director.

In 2023, the program has expanded its fellowship program beyond the traditional cohort of UCB undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and local community poetry fellows to include collaboration with fellows from the University of Hawai’i, the Arizona State University Center for Borderlands (coming in fall of 2023), and the Nez Perce writer’s group luk’upsíimey. Under the theme of Reclamation, 2023’s Poetry and the Senses will be led by Indigenous writers who draw on Indigenous languages and aesthetics: Craig Santos Perez (Chamoru), Natalie Diaz (Mojave), and Beth Piatote (Nez Perce).

In recognition of the fact that UC Berkeley occupies the unceded territory of the Ohlone peoples, and benefits materially from the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous land, this year’s theme will allow for the creation of dialogues with fellows from two other public land-grant universities that also have significant, complex histories with Native territorial dispossession, and will emphasize collaborations with fellows from the Nez Perce writing group luk’upsíimey, which uses poetry to assist in crucial reclamation and linguistic revitalization.

In addition to the Fall 2022 Berkeley Fellows who are continuing their investigations and contributions throughout the spring semester, new fellows from the expanded program include Carol Ann Carl, Community Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi; Phillip Cash Cash Community Fellow, luk’upsíimey; Amanda Galvan Huynh, Graduate Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi; and Kellen Trenal Community Fellow, luk’upsíimey, along with other gifted new and continuing fellows. 

Please join us for these not-to-be-missed Poetry and the Senses events, coming soon:

  • On February 23rd, at 6pm PST, Chapbook Celebration, an in-person reading honoring the 2020 Poetry and the Senses Fellows upon the launch of the chapbook created from work accomplished during their fellowship semester, in which they explored the theme of Emergency.
  • A craft talk with poet Claire Meuschke in person and in conversation with ARC Director Beth Piatote on March 2nd from12:10 – 1:00 PST as part of UC Berkeley’s Lunch Poems series.
  • Poets Michael Wasson & Alice Te Punga Somerville in a reading and conversation with Beth Piatote on March 8th, 2023, 2 – 3:15 PST, to be livestreamed + live captioned and free and open to the public. Michael Wasson is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, and Alice Te Punga Somerville is Māori – Te Āti Awa, Taranaki.
  • A reading by three Poetry and the Senses Fellows from Hawaiʻi, Noʻu Revilla, D. Kealiʻi MacKenzie, and Donovan Kūhiō Colleps who will be joined afterwards by ARC’s Craig Santos Perez for conversation and Q&A. The event will be livestreamed + live captioned and is free and open to the public on March 23rd, 2023 from 5-6:15pm PST.

We look so forward to sharing other events and celebrations that ARC has planned for this extraordinary fourth year of ETSF’s and ARC’s Poetry and the Senses!