Today in our poetry news round-up we have more poetry on the catwalk, a play about the life of Gwendolyn Brooks and the 100th Birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
More Poetry on the Catwalk
Earlier this week we brought you the story of the designer who used poets to describe his fashion for this season’s look. He is not the only top fashion designer this year who has turned to poetry for inspiration. The Dior collection that graced the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week took inspiration from the poet and activist Robin Morgan. The collection features t-Shirts with slogans, including Sisterhood is forever, and Sisterhood is Global, that have been taken from the poet’s work. Morgan, together with Simone de Beauvoir began the first global think tank for feminism “Sisterhood is Global Institute”.
Gwendolyn Brooks – Puppets, Poetry and Passion
On 24th February Manuel Cinema, a multimedia troupe, performed the play “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks” at the Chan Centre. Through the use of puppetry, live music and images using a projector the group brought to life the story of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks life.
Not only was Brooks an artist and a teacher but she was also an activist and the first African American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Her entire life was dedicated to the Chicago literary scene.
The production did not disappoint, it was a fantastic, and cleverly choreographed mixture of poetry, history and music. Brooks words were ignited by the actors, and there was even a stage during the performance where the audience were invited on stage to meet the actors and the puppets.
The overall message of the performance was one of being able to pay respect to a person you have admired, who has helped you to follow your dreams with compassion and given you the courage to create in your own right.
The Poet Turns 100
The renowned poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who is also the co-founder of the City Lights Bookstore in North Beach, will be turning 100 later this month.
As a way of honouring the occasion, the Mayor has proclaimed that 24th March, the poets birthday, will be Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day. In addition to this, the month of March has been set aside by the residents of North Beach who will be celebrating this auspicious milestone as well as the publication of “Little Boy” the poet’s newest book.
The poet helped to spark the 1950’s literary scene for which the city was famed. He studied and worked all over the US and in Paris before in 1950 he moved to San Francisco where he taught French, painted and penned art criticism. In 1953 he co-founded City Lights with Peter D. Martin.
Ferlinghetti has published a number of poetry collections over the years and is also well known for his work as a publisher. In 1956 City Lights released the controversial “Howl and Other Poems” by Allen Ginsberg which led to the arrest of Ferlinghetti on charges of obscenity. He was later acquitted, but the publicity put the bookstore and San Francisco on the literary map.