This Place Called Poetry

WritersCorps’ 15th Anniversary Exhibition

What happens when poetry comes into your life? Can poems make a difference? Meet 11 San Francisco youth who’ve embarked on a lifelong journey with words. This exhibition of art and film tells the stories of young people finding and claiming their place.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, WritersCorps, a project of the San Francisco Arts Commission, presents This Place Called Poetry. Multimedia artist Katharine Gin and sound artist Kjell Nordeson lead this comprehensive installation along with 11 young writers who developed their poetic voices in the WritersCorps program.

For the past year, Gin and Nordeson worked with these 11 writers to create a bold collection of short film and audio portraits. These portraits introduce visitors to an eclectic group of San Francisco poets, diverse in their artistic visions and life experiences, but connected by their love of poetry and their belief in art’s transformative ability.

In This Place Called Poetry, Gin and Nordeson collaborated with a design team to transform the SFAC Gallery into a site of multiple “destinations” that invite visitors to appreciate and engage with the youths’ poetry and life stories. Visitors can view short films, listen to audio recordings, respond to writing prompts, and even exhibit their own writing. Each destination allows visitors to listen, view and at times even touch the words of these young writers. This Place Called Poetry will give visitors a rich understanding of the creative journeys taken by these young San Francisco writers.

Indiana Pehlivanova Antoinio Caceres

Lead Artists
Katharine Gin and Kjell Nordeson

Jorge Aburto, Robin Black, Antonio Caceres, Dubb, Eric Foster, Shahid Minapara, Antoinette Osborne, Indiana Pehlivanova, Sandra Pulido, Lateefah Simon and Annie Yu

Design Team
Adrienne Aquino (graphic designer), Liz Ogbu (architect), Matthew Toon (builder), Deanna VanBuren (architect), and Annie Yu (collage artist)

When: November 7, 2008 to January 24, 2009

Opening Night Reception: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Closing Night Reception: Friday, January 23, 2009, 3:00 to 6:00 pm

Where: San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
401 Van Ness Ave (at McAllister), San Francisco, CA 94102

Gallery Hours: Open Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 5 pm

Cost: Free. Class field trips are welcome. Free lesson plans will also be available to teachers who wish to take students to the exhibition.

This Place Called Poetry main page

Meet the young writers featured in This Place Called Poetry

Watch the trailer (on youtube)

Watch short films about the writers

About the Market Street poster series

Read the press release

Download a lesson plan with writing exercises for This Place Called Poetry (pdf file): This Place Called Poetry Lesson Plan

Opening Reception Photos