I had the honor of being invited to curate an Exquisite Corpse poem for a "crawl" event put on by HOMEROOM and MAKE Literary Productions in Logan Square featuring a dozen writers, musicians, and artists with hybrid musical-literary practices.
Homeroom is an independent, nonprofit resource for creative Chicagoans to develop and produce new and original arts programming. Through this arts-packed, spring crawl along Milwaukee Ave, attendees witnessed the unveiling of three separate exquisite corpse pieces—each created by a group of four writers and musicians. Using the well-known exquisite corpse drawing practice as a model, we passed off a written line or a line of music to the next participant. That individual then continued the creation, knowing only the single proceeding final line. Each contained music, spoken word, a combination of the two, and an element of surprise for the participants and audience alike. Stop #1 Sector 2337: Deidre Huckabay, MEGA LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, Kenyatta Rogers, Michael Zerang Stop #2 Galerie F: Jim Becker, Kyle Beachy, Tricia Park, Ashley Miranda Stop #3 The Whistler: A. Martinez, Tarnynon Onumonu, Jeffrey Sherfey, Mai Sugimoto And to Chicago poet Ed Roberson, whose first line from "Nine Chicago Poems" is the starting point for each of the three unique exquisite corpses. "The ants are licking open the peonies" For my section, I really wanted to showcase the work of women of color. Jeff is a white guy, but he writes really incredible poetry so I wanted him to be a part of this too. Unlike the first two venues, I intentionally asked people not to clap in between performers, so the could better experience the collaborative nature of our pieces.
More on the participants I chose: Tarnynon (Ty-yuh-nuh) Onumonu is a poet and performance artist native to the Jeffery Manor neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago and is extremely proud of and humbled by her Southside citizenship and West African lineage. Jeff Sherfey is a poet currently residing in Chicago. His debut book of poetry is SWIMMING POOLS, published by Polyploid Press. Mai Sugimoto is a Japanese-born saxophonist and composer living in Chicago. Sugimoto draws inspiration from various jazz artists, Japanese folk and popular songs, and classical compositions.
This was so much fun to put together and to perform a new poem!