From Poetry Magazine

Call for Materials: Signs of Resistance

By Fred Sasaki

This is a open call for posters, signs, banners, and other ephemera that were used in direct action on the streets of Chicago for the Poetry Foundation's forthcoming exhibit, Signs of Resistance (October 4–December 22), co-curated with Kristiana Rae Colón

The July/August issue of Poetry magazine is devoted to Asian American Poets, edited by Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, Timothy Yu, and Tarfia Faizullah. Magazine staff had the pleasure of joining the editors and contributors for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s (APAC) first annual Asian American Literary Festival, which took place July 27–29. The festival was ebullient, enriching, and essential to enlivening literary life in America. We focused on the literary labor, struggles, and excellence of writers of color, in particular Asian Pacific Americans. The accompanying, landmark issue contains more poets, more poetry, and more persistence than ordinary. And it’s my favorite issue of the 17 years I’ve worked for Poetry, and I would go so far as to argue that it’s the best issue I’ve ever seen. But I’m biased.

One of the standout moments in the July/August issue is APAC’s “Culture Lab Manifesto," which echoes our hopes and dreams for both Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation gallery.  

We at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center believe the soul of a museum lies not in its brick-and-mortar walls but in what happens inside those walls — the experiential friction between guests and hosts, history and future. We believe that curation can be a form of community organizing; that art can be collaborative, participatory, and socially responsible; that those who have historically been pushed to the margins hold the stories that will center our future.

And with this declaration of solidarity, we are eager to announce the next exhibition coming to Poetry Foundation, Signs of Resistance, co-curated with Kristiana Rae Colón. This exhibit will be created by the people of Chicago who are acting against racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other systems of environmental and institutional violence. As of today, we are welcoming signs, banners, posters, and other ephemera that have been used in direct action in the streets of Chicago for an exhibition at the Poetry Foundation that documents, examines, and amplifies the words of our moment as they evolve along with the demands of our environment.

Please send us work to put up in our gallery space, mailed to: “Signs of Resistance” ℅ Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654, by September 1, with the following information: event, event date, event location, name (optional), email (optional), and any additional comments (optional). You can send by USPS, UPS, FedEX, messenger, or by foot. All we ask is that you send us materials before September 1, and agree to donate the work to the Newberry Library for inclusion in their “Protest Ephemera Collection.” We can’t administer personal loans or return materials to sender, but please don’t hesitate to send questions directly to [email protected] 


SIGNS OF RESISTANCE: October–December 2017

Chicago poets, artists, and organizing communities are invited to contribute signs of resistance for an exhibition in response to social unrest. The Poetry Foundation, along with partnering institutions, call for posters, signs, banners, and other ephemera of direct action that speak to our moment in an effort to document the landscape of words in action and amplify resistance to racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other systems of environmental and institutional violence. Signs of Resistance celebrates the voices of those on the frontlines and the poetics of citizenship.

By submitting your materials to the exhibition, Signs of Resistance, you agree to have them on display at 61 W. Superior for the duration of the show, October to December 2017, and acknowledge that they may be photographed for publicity and archival purposes. All materials in the exhibition will be installed at the discretion of the curators. Please note that submitting your materials is not a guarantee that they will be displayed. All submitted materials will be donated to the Newberry Library upon completion of the exhibition. The Newberry seeks to collect an enduring record of Chicagoans participating in public demonstrations in the city or elsewhere.  Because of the difficulties in administering copyright for multiple donations, the Newberry requires that when you donate your materials to the library, you allow the Newberry to preserve, reproduce, and distribute your work, and permit others to do so as well. Materials must be submitted to “Signs of Resistance” ℅ Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654, by September 1, with the following information: event, event date, event location, name (optional), email (optional), and any additional comments (optional).


Newberry Library Protest Ephemera Collection

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Originally Published: August 7th, 2017