Crip Ecologies: Kay Ulanday Barrett and Petra Kuppers

Join us for a reading with Kay Ulanday Barrett and Petra Kuppers, followed by a moderated discussion with Naomi Ortiz centering the intersection of disability justice and ecopoetics. How can access culture further the project of mutually sustaining care, for each other, kin species, and the planet?

This program is part of the Poetry Coalition’s annual nationwide programming series, spanning 25 independent poetry organizations and 11 cities. In 2021, the Poetry Coalition takes inspiration from these lines by Linda Hogan:

“It is burning.
It is dreaming.
It is waking up.”
—From “Map

Kay Ulanday Barrett (@brownroundboi) is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist; their collection More Than Organs received a 2021 Stonewall Book Honor Award by the American Library Association and is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Barrett has featured at Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Symphony Space, the Poetry Foundation, Princeton University, the Dodge Poetry Foundation, the Hemispheric Institute, and the Brooklyn Museum. They’ve received fellowships from MacDowell, Lambda Literary Review, Drunken Boat, VONA, and Macondo, and their contributions are found in The New York Times, Asian American Literary Review, them., NYLON, Vogue, PBS News Hour, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, The Rumpus, F(r)iction, RaceForward, and more. They have served on boards and committees for the Transgender Law Center, Sylivia Rivera Law Project, the Disability Justice Collective, Res Artis, and the advisory committee for the Crip Camp documentary on Netflix. Currently, they remix their mama's recipes and reside in Jersey City with their jowly dog.

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a poet and writer. She creates participatory community performance environments that think/feel into public space, tenderness, site-specific art, access and experimentation. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Petra’s third poetry collection, Gut Botany, was named one of the top ten US poetry books of 2020 by the New York Public Library. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, an educator at the University of Michigan and at Goddard College, and a cocreator at Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, from their home in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She is a current fellow at the Black Earth Institute, a think-tank that addresses connections between ecology, spirituality, and writing.

Naomi Ortiz is a Poet, Writer, Facilitator, and Visual Artist whose intersectional work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice, eco-justice, and relationship with place. Ortiz is the author of Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice (Reclamation Press), a book for diverse communities on dealing with the risks of burnout. Her leadership style emphasizes facilitation, inclusion, and spiritual growth. She is a 2019 Zoeglossia Poetry Fellow whose contributions can be found in We Are Not Your Metaphor: A Disability Poetry Anthology, Split This Rock, VIDA, Poems and Numbers, and performed at events such as the Disability Pride Parade in Chicago. Ortiz is a disabled, Mestiza living in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands.

Poetry Foundation's events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This reading will include live captioning and ASL interpretation. If you require any other accessibility measures, please contact us by emailing [email protected]. To find out more about Zoom’s own built-in accessibility features, please visit

Presented in partnership with the Poetry Coalition