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APL Book Club

August 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Co-hosted by The Austin Public Library and The Contemporary Austin, the With Liberty and Justice for All
Book Club is dedicated to the discussion of selected works of fiction, poetry, or visual art that consider
themes of racism, institutional violence, social justice, empathy, healing, and community.
Nature Poem follows Teebs, a young, queer American Indian (or NDN) poet who can’t bring himself to
write a nature poem. The exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring for this reservation-born,
city-dwelling hipster. While he’s adamant about his distaste for the word natural, throughout the book
we see him begin to confront the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people
with nature. Stereotypically identifying his people with the natural world, he figures, makes it easier to
mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through
his own lens, as well as human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even as he reckons with
manifest destiny, genocide, and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own
voice.

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