Poem Booth: Calling Upon Self

Curated by John Gavin White

June 16th – September 11th, 2021
Gallery Aferro, 1st Floor Installation

Participating Artists:

Albert E. Cook Jr.
James C. Ellerbe
Ngoma Hill
B. Sharise Moore
Anjuli Nunn
Ameerah Shabazz-Bilal
Kindred Sojourner White
Empathy LaRue White
Shaheed K. Wood

Poem Booth: Calling Upon Self is the latest interactive installation that encourages language lovers to step inside a vintage 1960s-era wooden telephone booth to enjoy an innovative experience that only comes at the intersection of art and technology.

Curated by celebrated author, philosopher and poet John Gavin White, the poem booth will feature the voices of 10 spoken word artists, poets and griots sharing their brilliance channeled through the dialectics of the telephone as metaphor. In this selection, poets are being called on to call upon themselves as a means for calling out to the greater world in hopes of one day having that call returned.

White’s curation is one of several artistic experiences marking the release of his latest collection of poetry and prose: I, John de Conqueror: A New Spelling Of My Name. Drawing on inspiration from Zora Neale Hurston, the new title speaks to the perpetual dehumanization of cisgendered, heterosexual black males and the erasure of their trauma and vulnerability as human beings outside the lens of alienation and distress.

Images, left to right: Phone receiver by Alexander Andrews | Phone box by Daniels Joffe | I, John de Conqueror: A New Spelling Of My Name by John Gavin White

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