Past Exhibitions

Shame Every Rose: Images of Afghanistan

Seamus Murphy

Shame Every Rose: Images of Afghanistan

Jun 19, 2013 – Aug 24, 2013

I’ll make a tattoo from my lover’s blood
and shame every rose in the green garden.

The June 2013 issue of Poetry is devoted to landays, a form of oral folk poetry comprised of couplets, created by and for the more than twenty million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This companion exhibition features additional photographs taken by Seamus Murphy between November 1994 and December 2012. The exhibition photos have been paired to suggest the couplets of the landays and are meant to be read left to right. While each pairing suggests a possible narrative, a tension exists between what we infer from the subject’s bodily expressions and what we cannot know of their possession and intention. In this way the combined images relate to the anonymous, clandestine, and very dangerous work of the landays.

Seamus Murphy began photographing Afghanistan in 1994, leading to the book A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan (Saqi Books, 2008), a focus on the Afghan people through the turbulent years 1994 – 2007. His film of those experiences was nominated for a 2012 Emmy Award and received the 2012 Liberty in Media Prize. His multimedia film Syrian Spring was nominated for a Prix Bayeux-Calvados for War Reporting. He has made films for musician P.J. Harvey and a film on the London Olympics for the New Yorker. He is publishing a book of photographs on America in 2014. “Photography is part history, part magic,” says Murphy.

Find more poetry and photos of Afghanistan in the June 2013 issue of Poetry »

Joan Mitchell: At Home in Poetry

Joan Mitchell: At Home in Poetry

Feb 4, 2013 – May 31, 2013

Abstract Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was born and raised in Chicago, and her mother, Marion Strobel, was associate editor at Poetry magazine. Poetry was fundamental to Mitchell’s sensibility and to her paintings, and many of her closest personal and professional relationships were with poets. This exhibition, which includes the large-scale quadriptych painting Minnesota (1980), as well as photographs, letters, and books of poems illustrated by Mitchell, will explore her relationships and collaborations with poets including her mother, Frank O’Hara, Bill Berkson, John Ashbery, and Nathan Kernan.
Related programming will consider the interrelations of poetry and the visual arts more broadly. School groups wishing to tour the exhibition should contact to schedule a visit.

View a slideshow and read more about Joan Mitchell in the February 2013 issue of Poetry.

Image: Minnesota, by Joan Mitchell | 1980, oil on canvas (four panels), 102 1/2 x 243 inches | © Estate of Joan Mitchell

Co-sponsored with the Joan Mitchell Foundation

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Snow  City Arts: Erasures

Snow City Arts: Erasures

Dec 4, 2012 – Jan 17, 2013

Snow City Arts transforms time in the hospital into time with the arts for young patients during treatment. Exhibited here are thirteen works by youth at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in Chicago who used the May 2011 issue of Poetry as source material for their own erasure poems.

(Image: Michael C., age 16, phrases and words from Mark Irwin’s poem “Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz” float within a sunflower image by Georgia O’Keeffe.)

More about these works »

Poet Photos: From the Archives of <em>Poetry</em> Magazine

Sharon Bourke (Photo credit: Dorothy Zuccarini Mayhew)

Poet Photos: From the Archives of Poetry Magazine

Sep 27, 2012 – Nov 29, 2012

Comprised of snapshots sent in by contributors over the hundred-year history of Poetry, this exhibition includes unseen treasures from the archives of the magazine.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.