Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, teaching in performance studies. She also teaches on the low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. Petra uses somatic and speculative writing as well as performance practice to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She has written academic books on disability arts and culture, medicine and performance, and community performance.

Her most recent poetry collection, PearlStitch, appeared with Spuyten Duyvil Press (2016), and the press will bring out her first speculative short story collection, Ice Bar, in 2018. A new chapbook of speculative poems, Green Orion Woman, will appear in 2018 with Dancing Girls.

Her poems and short stories have appeared in British and US journals like Anomaly, PANK, Adrienne, Accessing the Future, The Future Fire, The Sycamore Review, Visionary Tongue, Wordgathering, Poets for Living Waters, Disability Studies Quarterly, Beauty is a Verb: New Poetics of Disability, textsound, Streetnotes, About Place, and QDA: A Queer Disabled Anthology.

She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and she is currently working on a new community performance environment in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Turtle Disco, with her partner Stephanie Heit.


video of a reading from PearlStitch


Petra Kuppers

petra.kuppers at gmail.com

The Olimpias disability culture collective website

Turtle Disco page (lots of our stuff is by word of mouth – just contact us if you are interested in Turtle Disco offerings)

My current sessions at Turtle Disco (Winter/Spring 2018): Queer Dreaming (Fridays) and Amoeba Dances (Wednesdays).

Queer Dreaming:

Fridays, please contact me for exact dates and times.

Please join us in Turtle Disco for Queer Dreaming, Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Turtle Disco women began this series on the anniversary of the Pulse tragedy, as a way to connect ourselves to wider webs of memory and queer love. Dreamers engage in a 20 minute journey, followed by open writing time.

We have pillows, mats and blankets, and we practice disability culture space-holding: our house is wheelchair accessible, and we do not use sage or other scents. The practice is queer-led, seeks new kin and new responsibilities, and honors many different cultural pathways to lucid/shamanic dreaming (we do not engage in Native American appropriation).

Amoeba Dances:
Wednesdays, contact me for exact dates and times
Cost: donate an amount appropriate to you and your circumstances into our entry basket. Once a month, we’re giving what accumulates to a local queer, feminist or anti-racist organization in Ypsilanti and surrounds. Let’s nourish our communities as well as ourselves.

These somatic classes start with a short movement warm-up. Then, we’ll dive into our senses, exploring bodily boundaries on our yoga mats and under colorful blankets. We encounter ourselves and our micro-worlds, response-able to minute shifts, desires, and sensual states. We end on solo processing — writing, drawing, or moving — before we close our time together. Let’s pour our bodyminds across Turtle Disco, and tune up like jellyfish.

Radical access: let’s explore together what works for us. Ramp access, hypoallergenic doggie on the premises, queer/trans friendly, neurodiversity friendly.

Events Page: workshops, poetry events, fiction events, participatory actions