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Storyteller and PoetHi. I’m Jourdan Imani Keith. In 2009, I began to dream about the whales before they beached themselves on the shores of our estuaries. Those dreams led me to teach and lecture about environmental health so others would understand how our protection is entwined with theirs.

In 2006 when I became Seattle Poet Populist  and Seattle Public Library’s first Naturalist-in-Residence I developed the Natural Literacy curriculum using storytelling to enhance early childhood literacy.

A student of Sonia Sanchez, I am a playwright, naturalist, educator, and storyteller whose work blends the textures of political, personal and natural landscapes to offer voices from the margins of American lives. I have performed nationally and internationally, giving over 250 performances from Zimbabwe to Philadelphia, from Yellowstone and North Cascades National Park to Seattle.

I am thankful to have received awards from 4 Culture, Artist Trust, and Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs for Coyote Autumn and 2004 for the play and solo performance of The Uterine Files: Episode I, Voices Spitting Out Rainbows. I have received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Voices of Our Nations (VONA), and Jack Straw Writer’s program. I have been a Writer-in-Residence with Powerful Schools, the Writers in the Schools program, and Griot Works. My work has been commissioned by University of Washington, Women’s Funding Alliance and the filmmaker Aishah Simmons, for Silence…Broken. My poems, essays and articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, radio, television and video, including The Seattle Times, Labyrinth, PUSH, Floating Bridge Press, Colors NW, Seattle Woman, and the anthology, Ma-Ka, Diasporic Juks, writings by Queers of African Descent. (Sister Vision Press).  An excerpt from my creative non-fiction collection Coyote Autumn is featured in the anthology Something to Declare  (University of Wisconsin Press). I am the Founder and Director of Urban Wilderness Project, “restoring communities, culture and the environment” by providing storytelling, restoration and wilderness programs rooted in social change.

Posted March 9, 2011 by Jourdan Keith

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