Despy Boutris is a California poet with work in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.
Boutris has an interest in lyricism; in ecopoetics, ecocriticism, and the Anthropocene; in queer and feminist poetics; and, ultimately, in their overlap. Her writing often explores adolescence and girlhood, focusing in particular on the intersection between sexuality and ecology—with each being vital to the speaker’s act of identity- and meaning-making. Indeed, the landscape and sexuality often become entwined, informing one another and acting as representative of the speaker’s journey, the effects of climate change, and the proto-Christian notions of sin and cleansing.
Some of her favorite authors include Joy Harjo, Audre Lorde, Amy Lowell, Mark Doty, Jericho Brown, Bertolt Brecht, Tony Kushner, Anaïs Nin, Roxane Gay, and Carmen Maria Machado. Most recently, she’s been reading Embouchure by Emilia Phillips, Wound from the Mouth of a Wound by torrin a. greathouse, and Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through by T Fleischmann.
When she is not writing, Boutris spends her time teaching and being creative in other ways: i.e., making collages, customizing clothing, or painting.