Petra Kuppers

Poet, Fiction Writer

Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Author's Bio

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. She is author of the poetry collections Gut Botany (2020),  a queer ecosomatic investigation; PearlStitch (2016),  a feminist ritual chant; the co-authored Cripple Poetics (2008, with Neil Marcus and with images by Lisa Steichmann); the science fiction poetry chapbook Green Orion Woman (2018); and the queer/crip speculative short story collection Ice Bar (2018). She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and lives with her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where they co-create Turtle Disco, a community somatic writing space. She teaches at the University of Michigan, and has been part of Goddard College's progressive education experiments and their low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts for over a decade. Petra uses somatic speculative writing and performance practice to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures, and she grounds herself and her work in site-specific performance and disability culture methods. From 2018-2022, she is a fellow of the Black Earth Institute, an ecopoetic community that re-forges the links between art and spirit, earth and society. Her latest academic book is Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (Minnesota, 2022), “A much-needed model for what interdisciplinary arts-based research can be.” (Carrie Sandahl, Director, Program on Disability Art, Culture, and Humanities, University of Illinois at Chicago).

Publications & Prizes


Ice Bar (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018)


Gut Botany (Wayne State University Press, 2020)
PearlStitch (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016)
Cripple Poetics: A Love Story, with poet/performance artist Neil Marcus (Homofactus Press, 2007)
Prizes won: 

Gut Botany (poetry), Finalist, Hillary Gravendyk Prize (2017), named one of the top ten poetry collections of 2020, New York Public Library, Silver Medal winner, MidWest Book Awards (2020), Medal Provocateur finalist (2020).

Ice Bar (fiction), Finalist, Eludia Award 2018

Recipient of President’s Award for Art and Activism, Women Caucus for the Arts, College Art Association’s National Meeting, NYC, 2015

Biennial Sally Banes Prize, American Society for Theatre Research, for Disability Culture and Community Performance, 2012


More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Disabled, German, LGBTQ
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, German
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Oct 12, 2021