The genius of Henry Darger—a reclusive Chicago janitor now recognized as one of the most important outsider artists of the 20th Century—is visited through the poetry of John Ashbery and critical work of novelist A.M. Homes. Readings from Darger’s epic, In the Realms of the Unreal, and an introduction by poet and art critic David Shapiro, make this event an essential companion to the museum’s comprehensive exhibition of Darger’s work.
Inspired by the feminist and civil rights movements, many 20th century women poets adopted an “I”-empowered poetics that intertwined personal and public worlds. By the end of the millennium, fragmentation and polyphony appeared in poetry as a response to the notion of “I”-dentity as constructed by class, religion, race and sexual preference. Is the exploration of a woman’s everyday “personal experience” in poetry still a political act? What are the challenges of writing a poetry that destabilizes gender and diffuses the self?
Poet Lorine Niedecker (1903–1970) lived most of her life on Blackhawk Island in rural Wisconsin. However, she was not isolated from the avant-garde poetry practices of her time. A life-long correspondent of Louis Zukofsky’s, Niedecker established her own “condensory” of poetic language.
Showcase On View June 27- August 17
There is no better way to get an overview of the art of poetry than at this free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year from over 650 commercial, university, and independent presses.
A reading by the 10 poets in Poets House’s second annual Emerging Poets Fellowship program: Mahogany Browne, Jessica Elsaesser, Paul Hlava, Rosamond King, Elsbeth Pancrazi, Montana Ray, Andrew Seguin, Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová, Purvi Shah and Ocean Vuong (Full Audio, approx. 1 hr. 20 mins)
In celebration of the centenary of May Swenson’s birth, this reading showcases the breadth of her poetic output—from nature poems displaying her keen observation of wildlife, to exuberant, erotic love poems, to place poems recording her travels to the American Southwest, France and Italy and her residence in New York.
Born in Syria in 1930, Adonis is one of the most revered and influential poets of the Arabic-speaking world. In honor of his 80th birthday, Adonis reads from and discusses the newly published translation into English by (Khaled Mattawa) of his Selected Poems. Adonis is joined by poets and translators Marilyn Hacker, Pierre Joris and Lawrence Joseph.
(Full Audio, approx. 1 hr)
On View April 6 - May 4
Open during regular library hours through the end of April, the Showcase exhibit offers a once-a-year opportunity to browse through the nation’s most comprehensive gathering of new poetry books.