Poet Rhony Bhopla MFA '22 to Lead This Season's Mapmakers Alumni Institute
Poet and visual artist Rhony Bhopla MFA '22 will lead the Fall and Winter sessions of the MFA's Mapmakers Alumni Institute, with a first installment on Oct. 31, a Zoom webinar titled "Global Perspective: Ecopoetics and Eco-writing," featuring Rajiv Mohabir and Shivanee Ramlochan.
Bhopla has organized this discussion of ecopoetics and eco-writing with these ideas in mind:
Marginalized communities across the globe are acutely experiencing, without reprieve, the devastating effects of a rapidly changing landscape caused by climate change. In this event, these three writers will share what they witness and their process of writing about the complicated relationship between civilization and the non-human natural world. While shortages of clean air and water, healthful food, as well as safe living conditions are contributing to morbidity and mortality, the next installment of the Mapmakers Alumni Institute is poised to bring forward these writers’ urgent messages and invocations, and hopes to inspire a writing movement.
The Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship fund is named after Mapmaker, an early collection of his poems. Dawes has been a leader in the program’s mission to diversify the writers we serve and create equity. In helping us name the scholarship, he said, “The title characterizes what I think of myself as both a writer and as an advocate for the work of others and as someone who tries to open new territories for those who have not had access.”
About the scholarship she was awarded and the other opportunities that have followed, Bhopla says, "The Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship has changed my life as a writer and has instilled within me a deep courage to write. The vision behind the scholarship is to open new territories for those who have not had access, which has inspired me to be a collaborator and supporter of writers everywhere. This literary citizenry enhances the joy I experience as a reader and writer."
First offered in January 2018, this scholarship is awarded to exceptional students of color.