Poetry News

High School Student Makes Dickinson-Inspired "Little White Houses"

By Harriet Staff

Check out this article from The Boston Globe:

When Peter Krasznekewicz took his English literature AP exam earlier this month, he offered some thoughts on Emily Dickinson and her disregard of punctuation in one of the essay questions. Little surprise, considering that two days later the 17-year-old Deerfield Academy junior was the star of a modest gathering at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst where a project that took root the summer after his freshman year was ready for its public debut.

A blend of installation art, literary analysis, and architecture, Krasznekewicz’s “Little White House Project” is a collection of 34 houses, each about the size of a family sedan, displayed on the museum’s 3 acres and extending about 2 acres beyond to public and private properties. Each house is made from sustainably harvested wood and features a line from a Dickinson poem; a word or two is stenciled on each of its four outer walls and the roof panels. The shape of the house is a reflection of the traditional New England barns that dot the Western Massachusetts landscape, the region Dickinson was obsessed with and inspired by. The setting, a stark contrast from the ranch in Big Sur, Calif., where he grew up, had a similar effect on Krasznekewicz.

“I wanted the houses to relate to the surrounding community. I made them white so they could be simple enough that they don’t distract from the property,” said Krasznekewicz, who bears a likeness to actor Jonah Hill. At last Saturday’s ceremony, he sported standard prep school garb — a navy blazer, khaki pants, a yellow tie. He has poise well beyond his 17 years. “I’ve always been interested in concepts that are spread out, in art that you can touch and feel and that’s interactive and changes with the environment.”

More, including photos, after the jump. Kudos, Peter!

Originally Published: May 24th, 2012