Past Exhibitions

The World Record

Chiranan Pitpreecha, Thailand, “The Defiance of a Flower”

The World Record

Mar 11, 2014 – May 23, 2014

This exhibit showcases the autograph edition of The World Record, featuring poems handwritten by Seamus Heaney, Kay Ryan, and over a hundred others, created for the Saison Poetry Library during Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus. One-hundred and twenty-one poems have been recorded in the hand of the poet on sheets of paper containing fibers from the five Olympic continents. Also on view is the desk at which each poem was transcribed, made by British designer Sean Dare and signed by the poets.
Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus was a global gathering of poets coinciding with the London 2012 Olympics.  In May 2011, Simon Armitage appeared on the BBC to ask for nominations from around the world for poets to take part in the festival.  From thousands of submissions, curators Simon Armitage and Anna Selby selected one poet from each of the 204 Olympic countries to invite to Poetry Parnassus and contribute a poem to The World Record, which was published as an English language anthology by Bloodaxe Books.
In the spirit of Poetry Parnassus, a new handmade paper work inspired by the 77 community areas of Chicago will be created by the Poetry Foundation in collaboration with local artists later this year.
All items in this exhibition have been loaned to the Poetry Foundation by the Saison Poetry Library at Southbank Centre, London. The Saison Poetry Library is a major library for modern and contemporary poetry with a collection of over 200,000 items.
Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts center on the South Bank of the Thames. Created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, Southbank Centre draws on its heritage as a festival site, with art and activities across its 21 acres. Southbank offers music, dance, art, performance and spoken word events throughout the year.
The paper for the autograph edition of The World Record was handmade on the streets of Prishtina during Polip International Literature Festival, a Serb-Kosovan collaboration that brings together writers from across the Balkans and beyond.

Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets

Portrait of Kenneth Koch, c. 1966, oil on linen, 30 x 40 inches. Private collection

Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets

Dec 17, 2013 – Feb 21, 2014

This exhibition explores painter Jane Freilicher's pivotal role among the poets of the New York School, particularly John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. It is comprised of the artist's paintings, works on paper, and a selection of original letters, books, and photographs. The Poetry Foundation gratefully acknowledges Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, for making this exhibit possible.

Jane Freilicher was born in New York in 1924. She came of age in the era of abstract expressionism and has pursued a distinctive painterly realism found in her landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, and still lifes.

Forever – is composed of Nows –

Forever – is composed of Nows –

Oct 15, 2013 – Dec 7, 2013

Emily Dickinson’s mythic reclusiveness and haunting, elliptical verse have captured the imaginations of artists since the poems first appeared in print. This exhibition will showcase the work of contemporary artists, including Jen Bervin, Lesley Dill, and Spencer Finch who are inspired by her poetry and life.

A replica of Dickinson’s only surviving dress will be on loan from the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA.


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Simonides: what remains

Courtesy of the University of St Andrews Library, Copyright Norman McBeath

Simonides: what remains

Sep 6, 2013 – Sep 30, 2013

Simonides: what remains showcases poet Robert Crawford’s translations of poetic fragments by the ancient Greek poet Simonides. On view will be tiny texts— versions of epitaphs and poetic fragments—written thousands of years ago. The writing, which remembers those fallen in battle, is accompanied by photographer Norman McBeath’s striking black-and-white images. McBeath’s photographs reflect Simonides’ work at an oblique angle; studies of what remains in a landscape.

Simonides: what remains is loaned to the Poetry Foundation by the Special Collections Division of the University of St Andrews Library in association with the Scottish Poetry Library.

Robert Crawford was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, in 1959, and grew up in Cambuslang. His first collection of poems, A Scottish Assembly, was published in 1990, and his most recent collection is Full Volume (2008). His versions of Latin poems by George Buchanan and Arthur Johnston were published in his book Apollos of the North (2006), and between 2011 and 2013 his Scots versions of Simonides were exhibited in the United Kingdom and the United States alongside photographs by Norman McBeath, as well as appearing in the Easel Press volume, Simonides (2011).  Professor of Modern Scottish Literature and Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews, he is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Norman McBeath is a photographer and printmaker. The National Portrait Galleries in London and Edinburgh have over fifty of his portraits in their permanent collections. His work has been shown as part of exhibitions at the Leica Gallery in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A number of award-winning writers have produced original work in response to his photographs including Jeanette Winterson (Oxford at Night, 2006), A. L. Kennedy (Evidence, 2006) and Janice Galloway (City Stories, 2008). His collaboration with the former Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Paul Muldoon, Plan B (Enitharmon Press, 2009) was exhibited at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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