M.A. (California, Davis)
Megan Kaminski is a poet and essayist. Teaching and research interests include poetry and poetics, ecosomatics, queer ecology, plant studies, nonfiction, and the environmental humanities. She is the author of two books of poetry, Deep City (Noemi Press, 2015) and Desiring Map (Coconut Books, 2012), with a third book Gentlewomen forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2020. Her poems and essays have appeared in the American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Diagram, Seneca Review, and other journals. By exploring ideas of indeterminacy, rootedness, and resilience, her current book project, Withness, uses plant thinking as a model for response to our current moment and in thinking towards the future.
Her current public-facing work, in the form of Prairie Divination Deck (w/ L. Ann Wheeler) and the Ad Astra Community Poetry Project, focuses on ways to help navigate uncertainty and change, to counter extractive and exploitative values and relationships with land and peoples (human and otherwise), and to provide the basis for relationships of interdependence, kinship, and care towards a sustainable future in our common home. Her work is informed by interdisciplinary research in social welfare, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, as well as previous work in the healing arts and at non-profit environmental organizations.
More information and links to recent publications can be found at www.megankaminski.com
Poetry and Poetics, Ecosomatics, Queer Ecology, Plant Studies, Nonfiction, and Environmental Humanities
Deep City (Noemi Press, 2015)
Deep City renders the city and the body as architectures in crisis. The poems explore the city and suburbs as container and contents of collective memory and investigate how space shapes the body/ how we create space. They examine language and identity in the pathology of late capitalism, with its unaffordable housing, healthcare, and educational systems, exploitive labor practices, and continuous violence on its citizens. Deep City captures city as site for these myriad interactions, locating the body in space in relation to people, animals, architectures, and technologies. The city also becomes site to explore the self in relation to its urban exteriority, working to question the limits of the construction of self and subjectivity. Riffing on themes of urban decay, suburban housing developments, and the works of Julia Kristeva, Young Jeezy, and Honoré de Balzac, Deep City explores what happens when narrated identity becomes both essential and unbearable.
In Deep City Megan Kaminski continues her role as cartographer of desire, of longings both “feudal,” futile, and refined. Her delicate poems loiter at the intersection of bodies and letters (both alphabetic and epistolary), where objects and imagination collude. Kaminski’s poems beautifully illustrate how our sense perceptions insistently puncture through even the most rational arrangement. Deep City—not so much a place as a literary pleasure.
She writes, “what if I split it open / melon ripe and red / let them all out” but there is no “what if” about it as these beautiful poems dispatch us around the world where everyone awaits. The vivid reimagined anatomy of the page in Megan Kaminski’s brilliant Deep City is host to the unexpected “slide from languid to louche” listening with our enthusiastic ears. You will be wild about this book with me!
Desiring Map (Coconut Books, 2012)
Selected Awards & Honors
Arte Studio Ginestrelle Resident Fellow, 2020.
Bernadette Gray-Little “Expanding the Reach” Award, 2019.
Finalist, H.O.P.E. (Honor for the Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award, 2019.
Scholars on Site Grant (for the Ad Astra Writing Project), 2019.
Keeler Family Intra-University Professorship, 2018.
Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award, 2017.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Integrated Arts Research Initiative Faculty Fellow, 2016.
Hall Center for the Humanities Creative Work Fellow, 2015.
Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange Resident Fellow, 2014.
Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Resident Fellow, 2014.