Poetry and art converge at the Queens Museum of Art
by Lisa A. Fraser
Nov 30, 2011 | 3150 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Poet Sinan Antoon Responds to “Tarjama/Translation” in 2009 at QMA.
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What do you get when you mix art and poetry? An intriguing concoction that manifests itself in the form of the Poets in the Galleries Series at the Queens Museum of Art.

In its third edition, the series, which is a staple of QMA, will feature four different poets throughout the month of December, who will respond to the ongoing exhibition in the museum, “Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore.”

The series uses the galleries as invigorating sites of exploration, investigation and interactive readings and discussions. Lively presentations and provocative intellectual and artistic exchanges will allow audiences new ways of accessing the resources of the museum.

The poets and participants will take on the role of a post-industrial flâneur, to stroll through the “arcade” of Moore’s images of the metropolis as a keen urban and social observer, a walker in a city whose lifeblood and rhythms depended on the automobile and the assemblyline.

“The poets will comment on the work, talk about the piece and the audience will have a chance to ask questions. It’s a very interactive, free style experience,” said Jacqueline Candia, public events and community outreach coordinator at QMA.

The series was born out of conversations with Prerana Reddy, the director of public events at the Queens Museum of Art and Amira Parsa, a poet, artist, and educator.

“We were looking for ways to make our space more interactive and looking to bring another concept to the gallery space,” Candia said. “The whole idea was to make the museum more available.”

This upcoming Poets in the Galleries edition was guest curated by Paolo Javier, currently the Queens Poet Laureate. Javier is the author of The Feeling Is Actual (creature press, 2011), LMFAO (OMG!, 2008), and The Time At The End Of This Writing (Ahadada, 2004), which received a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year Award.

The Poets in the Galleries events will take place on Thursday evenings (except December 22). The events will start off with a complimentary cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m., followed by an hour of the interactive tour/reading.

Each participating poet, who all hail from New York City, has been asked not only to read his or her own work, but to actively engage with art works from the exhibit in which ever way they choose, as well as to engage with the attendees to create a truly interactive experience.

A small publication for the series will be created, in which each of the poets present a new or previously unpublished work that addresses the themes of “Detroit Disassembled”, and which will be made available to gallery visitors.

The first night begins on Thursday, December 1 with Stefani Barber. Her work has appeared most recently in Aufgabe #9. Her work also appears in the Bay Poetics anthology (Faux Press, 2006), The Capilano Review, and Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, among other publications.

On December 8, Brooklyn’s own Mariana Ruiz will lead the tour, followed by Astoria-based Kostas Anagnopoulos on December 15 and Anselm Berringan on December 29.

The Poets in the Galleries Series is yet another way that QMA involves the community. The museum also offers trips and outreach programs to people with special needs, as well as family art workshops and programs for youth and seniors.

“Poetry is one of the purest forms of art, it’s so popular and accessible to everyone regardless of education, race or religion. And to have something like this in Queens, in a borough so full of different cultures, it allows everyone to engage and interact using the artwork as part of inspiration,” Candia said. “That’s the main idea behind many of the museum’s events, especially this one.”

The Queens Museum of Art is located at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
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