Wheelchair Accessibility

About this this event

Join us for the return of Islands & Rivers: Poetry & the Art of the Possible in the Age of Climate Change, an event series which brings environmental justice framework to creative, humanistic practices. Islands and Rivers continues with a poetry reading featuring poets and CUNY professors Uche Nduka, Celina Su, and Allia Abdullah-Matta, with special guest Kealoha, the first Poet Laureate of Hawaiʻi. Please join us in the Skylight Room at the CUNY Graduate Center for an evening of environmental and climate justice poetry grounded in water-based and island-born knowledgeways and epistemologies. Free and open to all, with food and refreshments catered by La Morada Restaurant.


Kealoha, Allia Abdullah-Matta, Celina Su, and Uche Nduka.


Allia Abdullah-Matta

Allia Abdullah-Matta (Ph.D, MFA) is a poet and Professor of English at CUNY LaGuardia. She writes about the culture, and history of Black women and explores the presence of Black bodies and voices in fine art and poetry. Her poetry has been published in Newtown Literary, Promethean, Marsh Hawk Review, Mom Egg Review Vox, Global City Review, and the Jam Journal Issue of Push/Pull. Her do-si-do double chapbook, washed clean & blues politico was published by harlequin creatures (hcx) 2021. She is working on a hybrid collection of poems and images based on archival and museum research funded by the CUNY Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI 2023).

Uche Nduka

Uche Nduka is an itinerant poet-professor, essayist, collagist and songwriter presently living in New York City. He is the author of 14 volumes of poems of which the latest is Bainbridge Island Notebook, an explosive new book of poems based on his time sheltering with his family on Washington State's Bainbridge Island during a global pandemic. Nduka’s work has been translated into Finnish, German, Romanian, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, and Dutch. His essays on music, poetry, mortality and travel have appeared in various online and print outlets. He teaches at the New School’s Eugene Lang College and Queens College-CUNY.

Celina Su

Celina Su's first book of poetry, Landia, was published by Belladonna* in 2018. Her writing includes three poetry chapbooks, three books on the politics of social policy and civil society, and pieces in the New York Times Magazine, n+1, Harper’s, and elsewhere. Her current book project centering radical democracy, Budget Justice: Racial Solidarities & Politics From Below, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. Su is the Marilyn J. Gittell Chair in Urban Studies and a Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and lives in Brooklyn, part of unceded Lenapehoking.


Kealoha, born and raised in Honolulu, was the first poet laureate of Hawai‘i and the first poet in Hawai‘i’s history to perform at a governor’s inauguration. As an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller, he has performed throughout the world — from the White House to the ‘Iolani Palace, from Brazil to Switzerland. He was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program, was named an American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellow, and is a teaching artist for the Hawai’i State Foundation Culture and the Arts, Artists in Schools Program. Kealoha received a Community Inspiration Program grant from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation towards the creation of his multi-media theater piece, The Story of Everything. It is now a full-length film, produced and directed by Engaging the Senses Foundation, which will make it's NYC debut screening the following night, Friday, October 20th in the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Gradaute Center, click here for free tickets to the special screening event.

Islands & Rivers is a collaborative presentation, organized and sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, Casa de las Américas at LaGuardia Community College, and Engaging the Senses Foundation (The Story of Everything), and co-sponsored by the Gittell Collective at the CUNY Graduate Center and URBAN Research Network.