Poetry and Public Action
By Jennifer Benka
Investing in Poetry
An interview with the team behind Treehouse Investments
Selected poems from new books by Hanif Abdurraqib, Meena Alexander, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Elaine Equi, Shira Erlichman, Kimberly Reyes, Prageeta Sharma, Danez Smith, Monica Sok, and Jillian Weise.
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by Lorna Simpson
“At the beginning of the exhibition, we have an excerpt from [Robin Coste Lewis’s] latest project about the Arctic. This poem is about memory and time—kind of like Homer’s Odyssey—linked to living in Los Angeles, living in Crenshaw, and her life. It’s about place, but it’s contemplating a state of mind as well.
Conceptually, Robin and I have these almost parallel tracks. It’s really interesting to connect with another artist and to find both your intentions and fascinations are aligned. That to me is really inspiring. For what I can’t bring words to or what I am sensing about the work and thinking about.
[...] Blue is through all cultures and possesses a poignant and amazing gravitational pull. I mean, we live on this blue marble in the middle of the universe, so blue is that very important color. Of course, culturally it’s the blues, ‘blue black,’ and in terms of English colloquial use of the word blue—particularly ‘blue black’ culture—that’s absolutely important.”
—Lorna Simpson in conversation with Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Read the full interview.
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