APRIL: Petra Kuppers, Writer + Community Artist

April Artist-in-Residence Petra Kuppers describes her main art form as “community art.”
It is important to her to work with people who might feel unable to access mainstream art as art makers or art audience.  This aligns perfectly with our mission at Surel’s Place, as we work to ensure that our events are as welcoming and accessible to art experts and novices alike, regardless of background or ability.

Petra comes to Surel’s Place from Ann Arbor, Michigan where she teaches performance studies and disability studies in the English Department at the University of Michigan. She thinks of herself as a rural artist and is looking forward to living near a river again. The setting of the Boise River is a draw for Ms. Kuppers, and it is echoed in her words about art: “What we call ‘art’ is up for grabs, needs to be re-thought, re-created, every time we step into the river of practice.”

While in Boise, Petra will be finishing a revision of a novel, Tree, as well as working on a new poetry/movement/landscape series, Moon Botany, which is also the title of her workshop.  In addition to her listed public events, below, The Cabin is collaborating with Surel’s Place to present an additional workshop on April 9th at 2pm with Petra’s partner poet Stephanie Heit, who will be accompanying her to the residency.

Her workshop will take advantage of the Greenbelt and Esther Simplot Park near Surel’s Place and will explore how art can deepen interaction with nature even with physical restrictions and pain. Petra has insight into chronic pain and into the challenges of living in a world that is not always accommodating.  She was pleased to see that Surel’s Place could accommodate her as a wheelchair user, saying that it was “really heartening to find a residency that is not only accessible, but also a site of beauty,” which is exactly as Surel Mitchell intended when she built the home 20 years ago.


Saturday, April 8  |  1:00-3:00pm
Limited to 10
$10 Registration Fee
Registration required: www.surelsplace.eventbrite.com
Scholarships available: info@surelsplace.org

In this workshop, Petra will take participants on a sensory journey through a public site near Surel’s Place, alternating free-writes with snippets of either fiction or poetry writing. Natural smells, shapes and textures will serve as springboards for imagination.

Friday, April 21
doors 6:30pm | reading 7pm

Hosted by Daphne Stanford from Radio Boise’s “The Poetry Show,” this reading will feature work from Petra Kuppers most recent poetry collection, PearlStitch, as well as from her work in progress, Soma Land: poems and stories of land and body, queer disability aesthetics, experimental feminist play.

Both events at Surel’s Place: 212 E. 33rd St | Garden City, ID 83714

Additional Collaborative Public Events include a reading at The Twisted Ewe during the Live-Work-Crete District First Friday event on Saturday, April 29, an interview on Radio Boise’s “The Poetry Show” on April 16th at 5pm, and, a workshop at The Cabin on April 9th at 2pm with Petra’s partner poet Stephanie Heit, who will be accompanying her to the residency.


We wish to The Idaho Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting this residency.