Poet and Agrarian Dreamer
Madeline Augusta Turner prefers to be covered in glitter. Her writing, research and work are centered around soil, love in the face of apocalypse, and place-based healing. She serves as a prose editor for Hecate and her work appears in or is forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books, DEAR Poetry Journal, Rejection Letters and elsewhere. Though she is currently living in Northampton, Massachusetts, Madeline’s heart is always somewhere at the intersection of industrial decay and endless cornfields. Madeline's work and advocacy seek to situate the political economy of agriculture within its cultural context and are informed by her lived experience as a food-service worker and farmer. As a researcher and creative writer, she seeks to uplift rural voices with particular attention to issues of climate change-driven land degradation, rural development, and food insecurity. Madeline has extensively taught on issues of food justice and farming and organized food access projects in pursuit of vibrant local and alternative economies. She is the co-author of The Land of Milk and Money: Lessons Learned and Business Earned from Women in Dairy and is currently working on a writing project focused on the relationships between cultural trauma and landscape transformation.
My life is built around words. The ways we tell the stories of the places and spaces we inhabit -- both physical and conceptual -- tells us equally as much about who we are. I am a writer because telling the stories of the environments I love helps me understand the world, other people, and myself. I am a poet because poetry provides me with pathways by which I can contribute to the generation of new worlds. To this end, I see storytelling as a profound practice of resilience with the potential to change methods and mentalities. I tell stories to uplift the voices and narratives woven into both human and natural environments that are modeling strength in the face of apocalypse. My work and research interests blossomed as a direct result of my childhood on a small farm nestled in the American Rust Belt's dairy industry. Growing up living and working on farms in one of the most degraded environments of the world, my theoretical and ecological perspectives are informed by lived experience. This duality has allowed me to act as a bridge between my friends in the fields and factories of the rural towns that raised me and those in the academic and eclectic worlds I navigate now.
The production of new, just forms of knowledge is imperative as we face a rapidly transforming world. My positionality as a queer, low-income woman deeply in touch with the land grants me a unique lens through which to undertake this work.
In the summer of 2021, I was awarded a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship to study with poet Rosebud Ben-Oni. Over the course of my undergraduate career, I was awarded the Smith College Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize for the best poem by an undergraduate, the Gertrude Posner Spencer Prize for excellence in creative nonfiction, and the Samuel Bowles Prize for a distinguished paper in anthropology. I could not do anything I do without my friends and family.
I currently live and work on Nonotuck land currently referred to as Northampton, MA. I place an acknowledgment here as a promise and public commitment to act.