Below as Above

A few days ago I found out my poem was chosen as the winner for The Divine Comedy Poetry contest at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

The contest is one the events connected to the new exhibition,  The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists.  

Abdoulaye Konaté b. 1953, Mali Dance of Kayes from La Danse series 2008 Textile, each: approx. 246.4 x 170.2 cm (97 x 67 in.). Collection of Saro León

Abdoulaye Konaté
b. 1953, Mali
Dance of Kayes from La Danse series
2008
Textile, each: approx. 246.4 x 170.2 cm
(97 x 67 in.).
Collection of Saro León

My poem was in response to Malian textile artist, Abdoulaye Konate’s 2008  Dance of Kayes from La Danse series, as seen above. Read the poem here.

I choose Konate’s work not only because he is Malian, but because his exhibition at the Institut Francais of Mali , was the one of the only art of a Malian artist I had seen other than Malick Sidibe, Seydou Keita, Alioune Bâ and a few others – all photographers.  Painter, Amadou Sanogo, was the other Malian artist’s work that I had seen, aside of the famous Malian photographers.

I also chose Konate’s piece because of the cool colors he chose to represent Kayes are not what I expected given that the Kayes region is one of the hottest places on the planet, so the contrast was quite striking.

 

I was asked to read the poem at the Museum’s Divine Poetour this summer on July 2. Split This Rock’s DC Youth Slam Team and NMAfA’s Teen Ambassadors, will be reading their works that engage the The Divine Comedy exhibition.  So come out and support the DC Youth Slam Team and NMAfA’s Teen Ambassadors. Peep the flyer below…

The Divine Poetour, July 2nd @NMAfA

The Divine Poetour, July 2nd @NMAfA

I am excited to be a part of The Divine Poetour, it looks like it will be similar to a project that I did afew years back as a collaboration between The American Poetry Museum and The Phillips Collection.

 

 

 

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