An evening of poetry and art is coming to the Westport Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. The program is co-hosted by community partners Westport Arts Advisory, Westport Arts Center, and Westport Library in conjunction with the library's WestportREADS 2018 reading of "Regeneration" by Pat Barker.
Barker’s novel combines both fictional and real characters seeking to make sense of World War I and their changed world, centering on Siegfried Sassoon, noted poet and decorated war hero. Sassoon was among the prominent British poets whose response to WWI changed the landscape of modern poetry. In honor of this legacy, the program invites modern poets to respond to our times and the challenges we all face.
This evening of readings is set within “Ward Shelley’s What Keeps Mankind Alive” exhibit at the Westport Arts Center, “An ideal setting for this collaboration of spoken word and visual art,” a Westport Arts Advisory representative stated. Like the poets, the artist “seeks to tease out narratives from history and culture.” The exhibit includes The Last Library, (an ongoing collaboration between Shelley and artist Douglas Paulson), a room sized installation of bookcases and 3,000 books that according to the artists “should have been written, but haven’t.”
Selected poets will be notified by Friday, Jan. 26 and will be invited to read their poem at the Feb. 1 program, which is free and open to the public at the Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Avenue. Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson and Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County’s David Green will participate in the program, which will include an introduction to the Ward Shelley exhibit.
Ward Shelley’s "What Keeps Mankind Alive" will be on exhibit through March 2 at The Westport Arts Center.