€The Washington Caravan€ Exhibit Opens

Larry Saxton | 6/18/2009, 12:39 a.m.

Combining poetry with photography adds an intriguing dimension to creative expression in the photography exhibition €The Washington Caravan,€ which opens Sat., June 20 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the American Poetry Museum€s Anacostia Gallery located at 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast.

More than 40 photographs of 20 poets and writers, who live and work in the D.C. Metropolitan area, will be exhibited. In addition to their portrait, each poet and writer is photographed with an object that has meaning or inspires them is some way. The photographs are the work of local photographer Mignonette Dooley who, along with poet Abdul Ali, co-curated the exhibit.

The title for the exhibition pays homage to the anthology €The Negro Caravan€ edited by the late renowned poet, Sterling A. Brown and Arthur P. Davis.

€This exhibition is sort of an updated version of that [€The Negro Caravan,€]€ said American Poetry Museum Executive Director Jon West-Bey.

€Washington, D.C. has an incredible arts scene, but more specifically it has this really rich tradition of literary arts. There is a rich tradition here and it is something that really hasn€t been formally explored in terms of an exhibition. It adds a different touch with the documentation in terms of the photographs. You ensure younger generations can come and see folks that are from their community, that live in their city and are making contributions to the literary arts,€ he said.

The American Poetry Museum has an application process once a year with the sole purpose of requesting ideas for future exhibitions. Dooley and Ali conceived the idea for this exhibition to encourage the collaboration between visual artists, writers and poets.

Incorporated in 2004, the American Poetry Museum is a 5013 non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating this nation€s diverse poetic traditions, using written and spoken poetry as an educational tool. The mission of the American Poetry Museum is to celebrate poetry, promote literacy, foster meaningful dialogue, encourage an appreciation for the diversity of the American experience, and to educate local, national, and international audiences through the presentation, preservation, and interpretation of American poetry.

The admission is free and the Gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday through Sunday by appointment. The exhibition, €The Washington Caravan,€ runs through September.

For more information visit www.americanpoetrymuseum.org.

Larry Saxton can be reached at lsaxton@washingtoninformer.com.