Gut Botany (Made in Michigan Writers) (Paperback)
Wayne State University Press, 9780814347638, 96pp.
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
"Gut Botany charts my body / language living on indigenous land as a white settler and traveler," Petra Kuppers writes in the notes of her new poetry collection. Using a perfect cocktail of surrealist and situationalist techniques, Kuppers submits to the work and to the land, moving through ancient fish, wounded bodies, and the space around her. Through this book, the reader learns to navigate their own body through the peaks and pitfalls of pain, survival, sensual joy, and healing.
Gut Botanyis divided into eight sections. In "Court Theatre," Kuppers revisits courtroom performances following her sexual assault while drawing from the works of Perel and Bhanu Kapil. "Asylum" grew out of the Asylum Project performance experiments that Kuppers co-directed with dancer/poet Stephanie Heit. "Moon Botany" began as a collaboration with visual artist Sharon Siskin and offers a wheelchair user's view of insects, mushrooms, and horsetail ferns. Amber DiPetra notes that "this book is beautiful when it needs to be beautiful and it is edgy when it needs to be edgy and that is the sign of writing that matters."
Readers looking for experimental poetry that takes up space in their brains and bodies will dive deep and fast into this ecopoetic collection.