Talena Lachelle Queen (MFA ‘14), poet laureate of Paterson, New Jersey, has work in a new exhibition at The Paterson Museum titled Paterson’s Poets: Voices from the Silk City. Launched in April for National Poetry Month, and on display through June 24th, the show celebrates the poets who form the fabric of the city’s poetry community, past and present. As part of the museum’s mission to preserve and share the history of Paterson New Jersey, the exhibition showcases the broad range of work made by Paterson’s poets—from visual and concrete poetry to spoken word performance.
Along with the exhibition, a series of events in April and May invites visitors to engage more deeply with the art of poetry, from readings and open mics, to a discussion of William Carlos Williams’ epic poem Paterson. Informative profiles of the writers featured in the exhibition are available online.
In Queen’s words, “of the many things that I’ve done thus far, this exhibit feels like a culminating event. My University of Washington, Bothell MFA thesis advisor, Jeanne Hueving, is pictured on the walls, a project that I did with artist and professor Ted Heibert is linked in a multimedia presentation in the gallery, the literary arts nonprofit that I founded, Word Seed Inc is featured, the Paterson Poetry Festival is represented, the high school Poetry Club that I advise is featured and my own poems and concrete poem are there as well. What I am most proud of is the number of living local poets that the museum curator, Heather Garside, and I were able to include. The exhibit is aesthetically beautiful. It is educational. It is celebratory.”