“Poetry in the Galleries,” a reading of original poetry inspired by art, will be held at Sheldon Museum of Art at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 29.
This event is free and open to the public, and is being led by graduate students from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln Creative Writing Program. The students are enrolled in a poetry writing seminar led by Kwame Dawes, George W. Holmes Distinguished Professor of English, and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner.
Dawes and the students visited the museum to select artworks from current exhibitions to incorporate into their writing. The students will read their poetry in front of the artwork they selected. Visitors will have the opportunity to move from gallery to gallery with the poets and to experience the verbal-visual exchange in person.
“One of the rewarding practices available to poets is the opportunity to be in creative dialogue with the work of visual artists who trade in the most fundamental conception of the image — as a function of representation, abstraction or psychological sublimation,” Dawes said. “The poet, working with language, is constantly faced with the limitations and possibilities inherent in this ‘conversation.’ As a practice, I build into my poetry writing seminars the opportunity for poets to explore the possibilities inherent in this dialogue. For many years, Sheldon’s rich exhibitions have provided an accessible entry into this process.”
Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, criticism and essays, and is the director of the African Poetry Book Fund, artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, and editor of American Life in Poetry. He earned the Windham/Campbell award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.