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Sunday, September 12, 2010

9-11: Art, poetry and ritual remembering

Yesterday's debut of the September 11 paintings by my friend George Kokines at the Gail Borden Public Library was a big success. There's a nice piece of coverage on it at The Courier-News website, including a photograph of the Ground Zero piece (but ignore the characterization of the mixed-media pieces as a sculpture).

The library is a lovely building, and the organizers did a wonderful job of arranging the three pieces in the facility's rotunda. If the estimated 200 attendees hadn't been moved enough by the art, they were brought to their feet for a standing ovation after George's emotional description of the pieces and his experiences of the day that defines them.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent along a declaration honoring the occasion, and after it was read, I got to recite my three poems that were inspired by George's paintings (Morning, our tomorrow; Saint Nicholas; and Silver Wings). Despite a mild case of nerves, I didn't trip over any lines.

I'd like to thank George for including me in such a special occasion, and Kate Burlette, Director of Library Experiences, who acted as emcee and created a nice display for each of the poems next to the corresponding paintings.
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