In early December the Kemper Art Museum offered a poetry workshop and reading to give visitors a chance to experience firsthand the possibilities of integrating chance with the creative process. Led by Eileen G'Sell, instructor in the English department and publications assistant at the Museum, the events involved dozens of poets of varying levels of experience, who enjoyed a number of activities designed to inspire creativity through games and randomness. At the reading the following Friday, some people read their own work while a few breathed new life into pieces by Ashbery, Tichy, e.e. cummings, and others.
Giving her take on the programs, G'Sell remarked: "Too often, the gap between the visual and written arts goes unbridged—in the museum world, the university reading circuit, and the community's general sense of what's going on. The Kemper's Chance Poetry Workshop and Reading offered lively opportunities to emulate and appreciate certain creative strategies relevant to our current exhibition, all while bringing together poetry-lovers of all ages and backgrounds. Hopefully, this will prove the first of many events in which the cross-pollination of poetry and art is happening at our museum!"