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 awarded a commission 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