Maplewood’s Black Lives Matter poetry project was officially unveiled on Saturday.
The project presents a rich assemblage of 38 poems by black American poets that are installed in the shared spaces of Maplewood, including business districts, pedestrian paths as well as parks. The poems are printed on large banners.
âAs part of our public landscape, these poems are meant to be points of reflection, to help us think about what it means to be free in the face of oppression,â according to a press release. Poems by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Ross Gay, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, Jericho Brown, Rita Dove, Tracy K. Smith, Elizabeth Alexander, Amanda Gorman and other internationally renowned writers hang next to the work of 13 people. talented local poets, including teachers and students.
The project, a creation of the Maplewood Arts Council, aims to celebrate and highlight the words of black poets. âWe were very committed to responding to the deaths of George Floyd and so many others by using public art,â said Marcy Thompson, Co-Founder and Chair of the Arts Council. âAt this time when the world seems challenged by both articulating itself in language and really listening, we have decided that poetry should be our medium. The particular power of poetry is to distill language to help us come to a deeper understanding and a strong sense of resonance.
Photo credit Ana de Archuleta