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COVENTRY CITY OF CULTURE COMMISSION 2021: (TOP ROW) Alexandra Johnson, Alison Manning, Chris Fernandez,

Emilie Lauren Jones (Poet Laureate Coventry), Indira Lakshm (BOTTOM ROW) Nick Knibb, Spiros Abatis 9 (with Jenny Egerton), Steve Jones, Sujatha Menon, Theo Loannou

I am hugely honoured to be featured alongside 9 other poets & sound artists that have been commissioned to create new works inspired by Coventry City of Culture's The Show Windows art project. The project is inspired by a book written by L. Frank Baum who wrote the Wizard of Oz. For my piece, I wrote a poem that took 6 artists installations and reimagined them as alternative city monuments that celebrate and promote the richness of Coventry’s urban environment.

 

Each verse draws upon a Show Windows artwork and ‘builds’ a monument from its imagery, structure and meaning. In doing so it looks to open portals to the imagination where Coventry’s histories, identities and sense of place are reflected in a carnival of words. 

The poem is written in free verse and linked by an overarching theme of multiplicity- the idea that Coventry is not just a city but in fact many cities with many stories to tell. I have written from the perspective of a British Asian woman as she moves through the urban landscape of the 9th biggest city in England and the 11th biggest city of the UK.

 

In writing for a broad audience, I hope for my work to communicate on a variety of levels; for it to be accessible and relatable yet ambiguous enough to spark the imagination and new ways for the reader to relate to their cityscape.

The 6 artworks that inspired my poem are: 

  • Coventry Phoenix Priding-Nathaniel Furman (phoenix monument)

  • Infinity Doors-MAMIMU (elephant monument)

  • The Friendly Forest-Sharon Walters (tree monument)

  • Cocoon-Tammy Woodrow (nest monument)

  • Creative Spark-Matt Chinn (spark/flash monument)

  • Cov as Oz-Ben Javens (wizard monument)

To learn more about the artworks and 10 commissioned poems/audio pieces curated by Charle Levine please click HERE