Camille Dungy

A Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History


Event Details

  • Point Reyes Books
  • Free

camille dungy

This event is part of our ongoing Geography of Hope: Ancestors & the Land Series. Co-presented with Point Reyes Books. Camille was a presenter at the Geography of Hope conference in 2015.

A Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and HistoryAs a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. With a poet’s eye, she celebrates her daughter’s acquisition of language and discoveries of the natural and human world around her. At the same time history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers’ and investors’ dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.

With exceptional candor and grace, Camille explores our inner and outer worlds–the intimate and vulnerable experiences of raising a child, living with illness, conversing with strangers, and counting on others’ goodwill. Across the nation, she finds fear and trauma, and also mercy, kindness, and community. Penetrating and generous, this memoir is an essential guide for a troubled land.

Camille T. Dungy is an award-winning poet and editor and professor of creative writing at Colorado State University. She lives with her husband and child in Fort Collins, Colorado.