Word to Action is excited to announce that we will be hosting an online reading with the extremely talented Camille Dungy who is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017); Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011) winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize; Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010) winner of the American book award in 2010; and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). You can see more of her bio at https://blueflowerarts.com/artist/camille-dungy/

We used poems from Camille’s anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009) and Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017) to inspire our own work for the inaugural Word to Action in 2020. Invited to read alongside Camille on April 2nd are our student alumni Ali, Robina, and Shabnam, our 2023 poet retreaters, as well as our poet mentors who joined us by Zoom during the retreat, Kelli, Richard, Will, Craig, Tess and Enda, and of course YOU! We’ll be hosting an open-mic after the discussion with Camille and readings from the alumni who can attend. 

Please keep an eye out on Instagram and Twitter for #wordtoaction where we will post the specifics and the links. 

This online event will be an exciting introduction to Word to Action, our retreat* starting May 29th and our live reading at Haus Gutenberg in Liechtenstein on June 1st. We’ll let you know how you can watch it live and we’ll post the video. 

* Word to Action is both an intense and relaxing retreat for poets. Hosted in our patron’s sustainable home on the beautiful Eschnerberg in the lovely country of Liechtenstein, everyone is welcome who understands that when it comes to climate action, poetry can help ask the questions so that together we can find answers. International visitors are invited to stay in guest quarters for the week (limited to 6) while local poets can join at any time during the day for workshopping, meals or activities. We welcome everyone to write in their heart language and expect at least English and German poems to be generated.

Word to Action will kick off on May 28th as guests arrive and we get to know the shared space and each other. That evening, depending on hunger levels, we may make wood-fired pizza and join a campfire. Monday through Thursday will be intense writing days with lots of opportunity for workshopping the poems we will read on Thursday evening after a tour of the Castle Gutenberg in Balzers. A celebration of the reading will follow in the cafe. Friday will be a quiet day of reflection before the retreat ends on Saturday/Sunday, June 3/4 as folks depart. 

Word to Action is about generating collaborative poetics: poems that help others understand the concept of “climate” in all of its aspects in different and important ways. We love dialogue, honest discussions, philosophical inquiries, stargazing through the telescope, laughing, singing, sharing music and ideas. This space, this hill we are on, was home to prehistoric settlements and the energy is as amazing as the wildlife and birdsong.

This retreat is a gift for our writing souls: a place for inspiration, relaxation, fresh air and good company. We are busy the rest of the year with so many obligations. We need to let someone pamper us with healthy food, comfortable living and writing space and generous hospitality. Disentangling from our To Do list is essential to putting new work into the world, to make connections with the others, and to share our fears for and celebrate the gifts of this planet. We will leave the Word to Action retreat with hope.