Refreshed and Renewed!
The feedback from the Virtual Book Launch of “Renew” has been super positive, with one participant saying she loved the poems, found the discussion fascinating, and was “floating with joy” the next day. We celebrated new beginnings in a salon-style afternoon — many of us with drinks in hand — and it was so fun to connect with people after a long time. The book contains collaborative art and poetry from recent public art projects led by Monica Jahan Bose. We are super grateful to the huge number of you who joined the January 24, 2021 event from DC, NY, Miami, Honolulu, Charlottesville, Milwaukee, Providence, Syracuse, Boston, North Carolina, Paris, Rome, London, and even Victoria, Canada and Manila, Philippines (where it was a cruel 5 am)! You can watch the video here.
Special thanks to Purvi Shah for opening the evening with her stunning poem, from her recent book of poetry “Miracle Marks.” Curator and art historian Leah Stoddard gave a beautiful talk about Renew. She also wrote an essay for the book called “Provenance and the Life of Saris.” Dominic Green recited his poem “I’ve Known,” which speaks to the increasingly severe storms and rain and extreme weather due to climate change. Jesmin Ara recited a poem in Bangla, “To My Ancestors,” which she composed for the Two Minutes to Midnight project in Queens, NY. The poem is set out here in English.
Sonja Berry recited her poem “Mother Earth,” which appears in Renew and which she wrote during a public art workshop for the Warming Waters project in Washington DC. Following the poetry, curator and art historian Josheen Oberoi made insightful remarks and led a conversation with Monica, which was joined by many others. It was also super to hear from Elizabeth Brandt of Mom’s Clean Air Force about the importance of contacting your local government to tell them your concerns about climate change, clean energy, and clean air. Sonja ended the afternoon with her gorgeous rendition of Sam Cook’s song Change is Gonna Come. Many thanks to Krittika Ghosh for managing the Zoom call with over 45 participants and taking photos. Thanks also to our intern Nella Hoogeboom who joined from London. Noorjahan Bose also joined in on her very first Zoom call from her own home. Thanks to Erik Moe for excellent design work and to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for supporting the book. Huge thanks to everyone who attended, and we also really appreciate everyone who has ordered or picked up the book. Here is info on ordering the 110 page printed book. What a thrill to be together!