Poetry From the Muslim World

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World Website

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World, a two-year initiative including programs and performances presented against the backdrop of a traveling exhibition and companion website, will be presented in six cities across the country beginning March 2013. 

Presentations by scholars, poets and musicians celebrate poetry of rare power and beauty — including ancient oral traditions still practiced today, literary forms that have flourished for more than a millennium and contemporary poetic arts. Developed by City Lore and Poets House Poetic Voices of the Muslim World explores an art form central to Muslim cultures throughout the world.

The initiative opens in Los Angeles, CA and Jacksonville, FL, in March 2013; Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee in September 2013; and Detroit and Queens, NYC, in March 2014.

The lushly-illustrated, vibrant exhibition, designed by RAA Associates, features arresting photography and calligraphic masterworks, as well as the work of poets ranging from Rumi (the best-selling poet in America) to the well-known contemporary poet Adonis.  The large visual elements comprise nine printed panels, each measuring four feet by six feet, with the exhibition extending to 48 feet when fully displayed in each of the libraries.

The exhibition highlights the poetic traditions from four major language areas — Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu — and introduces poetry from Asia, Africa and diaspora communities in the United States.  It is complemented by in-depth programs at the participating libraries, ranging this spring alone from Blues and the Muslim Call to Prayer to Rumi: Song of the Reed and Words of Praise: the Qasida.


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