Field Trips – Met & Staceyann Chin!

Although I plumb forgot to take photos of our intimate group at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past Sunday, I wanted to share some resources from the field trip in case you weren’t able to make it! Whether you’re a Kaleidoscope student or a New Yorker interested in art and writing, you can take advantage of these scavenger hunts.

Last year’s activity focused on underrepresented art in the Met; students hunted down relevant artworks based on the attached clues and then contemplated the influence art could have on their own writing and poetry.

This year’s itinerary was more specifically focused on creative writing exercises. Four writing prompts jumpstarted different kinds of ekphrastic writing for participants. “Ekphrasis” comes from the Greek word for making an inanimate object, like a painting, “speak.” Our activities helped us figure out how to create personae, settings, historical fictions, and stories based on images, abstractions, and aesthetic choices in art.

One side note if you’re going to the Met in the next two months: their permanent photo galleries have been overtaken by special exhibitions on mobile phone photography and American Civil War photography. A good alternative for the prompt on “place-based poetry” would be the period rooms throughout the museum.

Lastly, don’t forget that the historic Nuyorican Poets Cafe, in collaboration with City Parks, will be hosting an epic poetry slam with Staceyann Chin (author of the poem “All Oppression is Connected” from our syllabus), Ntozake Shange (award-winning author of the play for colored girls who have considered suicide, when the rainbow is enuf), and Jewish-Japanese poet Sarah Kay this Wednesday evening. This free event starts at 7pm at the East River Park Amphitheater’s SummerStage (299 South St, New York, NY 10002) in the Lower East Side; get there early if you want to snag space, and bring a snack!

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