Perceptual Abstraction: Poetry Readings

Bob Holman will read his original poetry inspired by the work of Bridget Riley. Presented in conjunction with Bridget Riley: Perceptual Abstraction, on view at the museum through July 24, this program will take place in the exhibition galleries.

About Bob Holman

Founder of the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village and author of seventeen poetry collections, Bob Holman has played a central role in the spoken word, slam and digital poetry movements of the last several decades. Co-founder of the Endangered Language Alliance, Holman's study of hip-hop and West African oral traditions led to his current work with endangered languages. Holman explored the griot tradition of praise poetry in his artistic collaboration with photographer Chuck Close in their 2006 publication, A Couple Ways of Doing Something, where Holman’s praise poems serve as concrete analogues to Close’s daguerreotype portraits.

Holman has produced and directed films, including The United States of Poetry (1996), which won the International Public Television Award; On the Road with Bob Holman (2012); and Language Matters with Bob Holman (2015), a film about language loss and revitalization which won the Berkeley Film Festival’s Documentary of the Year award. His short film, Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues (2015), has lines of poetry in fifty languages and premiered at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. It won the Viewer’s Choice Award at the Sadho Poetry Film Festival in New Delhi, India.

In 1993, Holman became a professor of writing at The New School for Social Research, NY, where he taught “Exploding Text: Poetry Performance” for three years. That year, and again in 2001, Holman was a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow. He has also taught at Princeton, Columbia, New York University, and Bard College. He was a director at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a multicultural institution for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theater, and visual arts. He founded Mouth Almighty/Mercury, the world's first spoken word poetry record label. Holman currently lives and works in New York City.

This program is presented through the generosity of the Terry F. Green 1969 Fund for British Art and Culture.

Top image
Photo courtesy of Bob Holman

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