Guggenheim launches first-ever Poet-In-Residence program

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Guggenheim launches first-ever Poet-In-Residence program
Taylor Johnson is from Washington, D.C. He is the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the Norma Faber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and named as a best poetry book of 2020 by the New York Times. Photo: S*an D. Henry-Smith.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in collaboration with the Academy of American Poets, announced today that Taylor Johnson has been selected as the inaugural Poet-in-Residence for 2022. This new initiative builds upon the institution’s legacy of engaging forms of abstraction in the visual arts and beyond, as well as its history of poetry events, and continues the Guggenheim’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and perspectives within its programming. The launch of the Poet-in-Residence program was announced at an event celebrating the life of artist and writer Etel Adnan (1925–2021) that featured readings of her poems and original works by Ammiel Alcalay, Omar Berrada, Stephen Motika, Asiya Wadud, and Anne Waldman.

The Poet-in-Residence initiative will introduce encounters with poetry throughout the Guggenheim. In his new role, Johnson will work with Guggenheim staff to develop, organize, and participate in a yearlong series of public programs including poetry readings, workshops, performances, and activations designed for a range of audiences. These presentations by contemporary poets and writers will take place throughout the year in connection with the exhibitions on view by Jennie C. Jones and Cecilia Vicuña.

“By finding new ways to notice and to listen collectively we are bringing the vision of our founders forward—to be a place where artists and the public create together what doesn’t yet exist,” said Cyra Levenson, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education and Public Engagement.

In addition to forthcoming live events, workshops, and programming in the museum galleries, an interactive poetry space in the Aye Simon Reading Room was created as part of the initiative and is open during museum hours. The Poet-in-Residence program also builds upon the Guggenheim’s recent focus on public engagement residencies, the most recent being a yearlong collaboration with architecture and design organization The World Around.

Taylor Johnson is a poet committed to community engagement. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships from organizations such as Cave Canem, Lambda Literary, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Johnson’s first collection of published poems, Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), received the Norma Faber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and was named a best poetry book of 2020 by the New York Times.

Johnson was selected as poet-in-residence through an open call organized in partnership with the Academy of American Poets by a panel that comprised Jen Benka, President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets; Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, award-winning poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist; Natalie Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and 2018 MacArthur Fellow; Claudia Rankine, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning poet and 2016 MacArthur Fellow; and Jennifer Yee, Director, Public Programs, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

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