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Q3 Book Club – Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden

September 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm MDT

photo with book and event title

We are excited about our Q3 book club with Women in Sustainability! WIS member Zhuli Stoyanova will host this book club. Join WIS members to debrief the quarter’s book and discuss sustainability as it pertains to the book.

The third quarter book will be “Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden” by Camille Dungy

Want to have a monthly discussion and/or accountability partner? Join us monthly online to discuss your reading progression and any material in the book. This will be held online in April and May and hybrid in June.

All book club events will be held on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

Already read the book? You are welcome too!

Don’t have time to read? Try the AudioBook using Chirp, Libby, or other audiobook apps.

Find the book online or at your local library.


  • July 25- 5:30pm – 6:30pm MT (online only; through Chapter 10)
  • August 22 – 5:30pm – 6:30pm MT (online only; through Chapter 18)
  • September 26 – 5:30pm – 6:30pm MT (online & in person; full book)

RSVP to get updates and Zoom links!

Questions? Contact Zhuli at stoyan10@msu.edu.

About the Book: 

In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, poet and scholar Camille T. Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominantly white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. When she moved there in 2013 with her husband and daughter, the community held restrictions about what residents could and could not plant in their gardens. In resistance to the homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national discourse about the environment is the best means of protecting it.

Definitive and singular, Soil functions at the nexus of nature writing, environmental justice, and prose to encourage you to recognize the relationship between the peoples of the African diaspora and the land on which they live, and to understand that wherever soil rests beneath their feet is home.

About the Author: 

Camille T. Dungy was born and raised in the western United States (Colorado and California), though she has lived briefly in most other regions of the U.S. and has spent time on all but one continent and several countries. Dungy attributes some of the energy in her writing to both her delight in going new places and meeting new people and the good fortune of having a beautiful place to root down and call home. In much of her writing, Dungy considers history, landscape, culture, family, and desire. Her latest book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden published by Simon and Schuster on May 2, 2023.  Dungy is also the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan University Press: 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award, and a Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History (W.W. Norton &Co: 2017), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism.

Dungy’s interest in the intersections between literature, environmental action, history, and culture led her to edit Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (University of Georgia Press: 2009), the first anthology to bring African American environmental poetry to national attention. She also co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology and has served in several other editorial positions. Currently, she is the poetry editor for Orion magazine. Dungy’s work has appeared in over 40 anthologies plus dozens of print and online venues in the U.S. and abroad. You may know her as the host of Immaterial, a podcast from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Magnificent Noise. A University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, Dungy’s further honors include the 2021 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and fellowships from the NEA in both prose and poetry.


September 26
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm MDT
Event Category:


Online Event