A recent virtual poetry reading featuring Fairfax High School students and local poets was the culmination of workshops to connect poetry, public art and the future Wilshire/Fairfax station.
Organized by commissioned artist Susan Silton — who is designing the artwork for the station — the reading capped off a semester exploring creativity in the built environment and via the written word. The poets Olga García Echeverría, Tanya Ko Hong, AK Toney, and Terry Wolverton worked with students from Mr. Steven Gee’s and Ms. Stacy Millsap’s English literature classes.
The workshops guided students in creating affirmations through poetry, similar to Silton’s We, Our, Us station artwork.
We, Our, Us uses colored stripes with graphic text containing quotes in English, Korean and Spanish — the languages of the neighborhood. The first quote, expressed in English and Korean, is by Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
A second quote, in Spanish and English, is by queer Chicana poet Gloria Anzaldúa: “Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar / Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.”
The Fairfax High students created their own poems and also worked on collaborative pieces with the poets. During the reading, each teaching poet shared these collaborative poems. Four student poets concluded the reading by performing their original poems, too.
Read Caminantes, one of the inspiring poetry collaborations, below.
Click here for information about Metro’s art program.