Every Day is Earth Day: poets Raquel Gutiérrez and Saretta Morgan on ecological crisis and possibility in a pandemic

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Is the earth healing? Fighting back? Amidst false reports of wild animals returning home and other fantasies of human agency and earth's sovereignty, we are confronting ongoing and intensified dismantling of environmental regulations, colonial profit and extraction of indigenous land, incarceration and detention of human life, and the disposability of the sick, elderly, and people with disabilities. What exactly is the virus, after all? Join the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries for an Earth Day reading by poets Raquel Gutiérrez and Saretta Morgan. Together we will consider ecological crisis and possibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Raquel Gutiérrez was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where they just completed two MFAs in Poetry and Non-Fiction from the University of Arizona. Raquel is a 2017 recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Raquel also runs the tiny press, Econo Textual Objects (est. 2014), which publishes intimate works by QTPOC poets. Their poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Inquiry, FENCE, Huizache, The Georgia Review, and The Texas Review. Raquel’s first book of prose, Brown Neon, will be published by Coffee House Press in the Spring of 2021.

Saretta Morgan is a writer and artist. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she teaches Creative Writing at Arizona State University and contributes to the humanitarian aid efforts of No More Deaths Phoenix. She is the author of the chapbooks room for a counter interior and Feeling Upon Arrival. Currently her work addresses Black migration to the United States Southwest and its relationship to contemporary migration and border politics. Saretta holds degrees in writing from Columbia University and Pratt Institute. Most recently she has received grants and fellowships from Arizona Commission on the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. She is at work on Alt-Nature, her first full-length collection.

Organized by Jeanne Vaccaro

Image Credit: Southern Arizona, 2020 by Raquel Gutiérrez