19 February 2014

Call for Poets, Readers, and Participants

Call for Poets, Readers, and Participants

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at IUPUI

Poetry Reading and Reception
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Herron Art Library, Artist Book Alcove
Herron School of Art and Design
735 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

IUPUI University Library and the Herron Art Library, in collaboration with the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition, invite you to share in an afternoon of poetry on March 5th, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., marking the bombing of the historic literary and cultural center of Baghdad, al-Mutanabbi Street.  This renowned street, named for the famous 10th century classical Arab poet, Al-Mutanabbi, had stood as the major literary and cultural center of Baghdad for hundreds of years.  

On March 5th, 2007, a suicide bomber tragically destroyed this cultural center where scholars, artists, poets, and writers had gathered for centuries.  In response to this destructive act, Beau Beausoleil, a poet and bookseller from California, was moved to act in solidarity with the people of Iraq against such acts.  He rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers. The coalition of contributing artists calls itself Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Now, 7 years later, the Coalition is as strong as ever as it touches poets, artists, writers, and scholars worldwide. 

Please join us March 5th, 2014, at the Herron Art Library as we mark the anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street through poetry, standing with all people across the globe who want free speech and continue to struggle for the free exchange of ideas through the sharing of academic, literary and visual creativity.

We invite poets, readers, and participants to join us during our Indianapolis, IN event to read poetry from the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Anthology or from your own individual work in an effort to support the free exchange of ideas and to protest against the destruction of diverse shared cultures. 

If you would like to read during our event or would like more information please contact Sonja Staum at sstaumku@iupui.edu. *