We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the play by Ntozake Shange which is taking to the stage. We also look at the poetry that forms part of the earthquake archive of the museum of Anchorage.
For Colored Girls Comes to Open Stage in Harrisburg
The award-winning play by Ntozake Shange is to make its appearance on the Open Stage of Harrisburg.
“For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf” features seven women of colour, and will tell the stories of their lives, from abandonment, pain, self-discovery and finally sisterhood. This is a play about daily struggles.
The play will be produced as part of a collaboration between Open Stage of Harrisburg and Sankofa African American Theatre Company. Last year saw the premier of another play “Akeelah and the Been”, which was put on to help enrich the area with the African American perspective relating to current issues within the area. For Coloured Girls makes an excellent choice as their next play. In the field of African American theatre it is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring pieces; not only in the African American theatre but also in general.
Shange passed away in October this year aged 70. When For Coloured Girls was first performed on Broadway she was just 27. During her lifetime she published poetry collections, plays, novels and even children’s books
Twitter Poetry Added to Museum Archive
Following the devastating earthquake that took place on Good Friday in Anchorage, museum archivers began to collect ways in which they could measure the impact that the earthquake had had, not just on the local land but also on the people who lived nearby. They accumulated a collection of letters, photographs and newspaper headlines.
Anchorage was subjected to a magnitude 7 earthquake on 30th November and again they began work collecting information to allow future generations to see the impact that the earthquake had had on people. Technological advances of course meant that this time round the information they collected was a little different.
The internet provided them with a huge source of very readily available thoughts and opinions, as well as stories and photographs. It also gave them a great source of memes – a thoroughly modern way of gauging people”s real thoughts.
What they also found in addition to the proliferation of memes was a large number of verses that were published both on Twitter and Facebook. These really opened up to show how people were feeling and provided them with something really interesting for their archives.
In the week that followed the earthquake, the Museum of Anchorage invited Alaskans to share poetry about their experiences on social media using the tag #AnchorageMuseumQuakePoems. For those who didn’t fancy writing poetry the suggested that they might share single words that other poets might be able to use to create even more poetry which will also become part of the archives.
Together the poetry and the memes collected following the latest quake come together to give a real representation of just how people were feeling directly after the quake occurred and make a fantastic contribution to the museum’s archives.