Black Writers Read: Lisbeth White

Join us for our conversation with Lisbeth White, author of the 2022 Perugia Prize-winning poetry collection, American Sycamore.


Lisbeth White is a writer and ritualist living on S’klallam and Chimacum lands of Port Townsend, WA. As a cross-genre writer of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, her writing explores the sensual and sociopolitical intersections of healing, ancestry, mythopoetics, and connection to the natural world. She has received support from VONA, Artist’s Trust, Tin House, Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference, and Blue Mountain Center. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Kweli, Apogee Lit, Green Mountains Review, Willowherb Review, EcoTheo Review, Split this Rock, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry collection American Sycamore (Perugia Press) and co-editor of the anthology Poetry as Spellcasting: Poems, Essays, and Prompts for Manifesting Liberation and Reclaiming Power (North Atlantic Books).

American Sycamore is an exploration of racial identity and the natural world, rooted in the mythopoetics of wilderness and ancestry as sources of trauma, grief, wonder, and a tremendous resource. In pursuit of understanding the nuances of belonging and displacement in a Black mixed-race feminine body, Lisbeth White travels through mythic, biological, and geological landscapes, attending to the body and its beautiful and terrifying questions. Her journey manifests in a poetic helix of recurring bridges, trees, myths, origins, and awakenings. From the bayou to Belgium, to Barbados, these poems traverse global terrain while interrogating the dark past/present of America. In American Sycamore, the poet examines the Black diaspora, ancestral reparation, and the sacred feminine, inviting the reader into a deep conversation of seeking and recovery.

This livestream is being presented in collaboration with Perugia Press. Special thanks to Rebecca Hart Olander and Perugia Press for introducing us to Lisbeth.

About Black Writers Read

Hosted and Produced by performance poet, playwright, pop culture critic, and educator, Nicole M. Young-Martin, Black Writers Read showcases, celebrates, and honors the words, work and traditions of Black writers from across the country, across genres, across experiences and across the African Diaspora

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