Seattle’s Civic Poet, Jourdan Imani Keith, has partnered with Jack Straw Cultural Center for the new podcast, Women & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change. Launching on June 19, this podcast will host conversations between Jourdan and local poets about how poetry can be a tool to illuminate environmental and social issues. Episodes will launch on Soundcloud every Saturday through July 30.
See the full list of upcoming episodes below:
Saturday, June 19
Episode 1: Whales and Dragons
Jourdan Imani Keith interviews poet, artist, and activist Jae Eun Kim who speaks about the mythological connections between dragons and whales.
About the Guest: An alum of the University of Washington, Jae has worked at non-profits Powerful Voices and Young Women Empowered and facilitated many arts-based and social justice education programs for young people. Kim creates within various mediums, speculative fiction, poetry, urban mythology, performance, visual, and fiber arts. In 2015, they were invited to stay at Hedgebrook for a short-term writers residency.
Saturday, June 26
Episode 2: The Risks of Gender
Jourdan Imani Keith interviews Aleyda Marisol Cervantes, who speaks about the risks associated with gender, colonialism, and environmental activism.
About the Guest: Aleyda Marisol Cervantes is a self-identified third-world woman, who grew up in a small town in Guadalajara, Mexico. She co-wrote and published a chapter in the anthology Gendering Globalization, Globalizing Gender: Postcolonial Perspectives Edited by Gül Çalışkan. She currently works at a community college building bridges between underrepresented students and the world of higher education and serves as a board member in Mujer al Volante, an organization cultivating leadership and autonomy for immigrant women. She also makes the time to write and dream a little more in occupied Coast Salish territory.
Saturday, July 3
Episode 3: Diving for Our Ancestors
Jourdan Imani Keith interviews Ebony Wellborn about ancestry and scuba-diving.
About the Guest: Ebony Wellborn is originally from the South, but has been an active community member in King County for the last three years. As her life has progressed, Ebony has learned just how interconnected we are with our non-human friends.
Saturday, July 10
Episode 4: Whale Song and Lullabies
Jourdan Imani Keith interviews Kamna Shastri about the lullabies of her youth and the songs of the whales.
About the Guest: Kamna Shastri is a community journalist with a background in sociology and environmental studies. Shastri is especially interested in the messiness of cultural identity and breaking down the false distinction between humanity and nature. Poetry has been her lifelong method of self-expression.
Saturday, July 17
Episode 5: Mysteries of the Marine World
Jourdan Imani Keith interviews Savannah Smith about being drawn into the mystery of the marine world.
About the Guest: Savannah grew up in an animal-loving home. Her early exposure to a variety of different creatures taught her that every animal — no matter the size or species — has its own unique characteristics and soul. Savannah is passionate about fostering positive outdoor experiences for BIPOC, especially in marine environments.
Saturday, July 24
Episode 6: Stories of Migration
Jourdan Imani Keith has a conversation with Rasheena Fountain, who speaks on migration and displacement for humans and whales.
About the Guest: Originally from Chicago, Rasheena Fountain is a multi-genre writer and interdisciplinary educator living in Seattle. A past Walker Communications Fellow with National Audubon, she is currently an MFA Prose Candidate at the University of Washington, where she is working on an environmental essay collection.
Saturday, July 30
Episode 7: We Are Cousins
Jourdan Imani Keith closes out this seven-part podcast series with a discussion on the impacts of environmental toxins on her family and whales. Jourdan Imani Keith is a storyteller, essayist, playwright, naturalist, and activist. A student of Sonia Sanchez, her TEDx Talk, “Your Body of Water,” the theme for King County’s 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses program won an Americans for the Arts award. Her poetry is largely anthologized. She has been awarded fellowships from Hedgebrook, Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, and Jack Straw. Her memoir in essays, Tugging at the Web, is forthcoming from University of Washington Press.
The Women & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change Podcast was created in partnership with the Civic Poet, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Urban Wilderness Project, and Jack Straw Cultural Center. Visit the Civic Poet page for more information about Jourdan and her work.