Asiya Wadud

Begins July 9
Various locations throughout the Seaport District

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Co-presented with the Seaport District and The Howard Hughes Corporation as part of River To River 2020


Poems form in the space we make for them. Sometimes a few words rattle around our minds, with only the faintest context to give them shape. Sometimes there is a fleeting image we want to imprint — we want it to stay with us a little longer. If we sit with the image, we can watch it come into focus — we can take hold of the words, we write them down and watch the poem take its shape.

Scattered throughout the Seaport District and Pier 17, you will find poems written from telephone conversations held in June and July with individuals in Lower Manhattan and designed by Shannon Finnegan. These poems are the lasting evidence of a conversation between two strangers during quarantine, capturing the ideas, textures and sensations of that particular interaction. We invite you to celebrate and reflect on these mutual experiences, both personally and as a community.

Read the collection of poems here.

Participating writers include Lara Atallah, Sevinç Çalhanoğlu, Chia-Lun Chang, Alisha Mascarenhas, Madison McCartha, Rebekah Smith, and Asiya Wadud.

Black thirty-something woman in a black long sleeved top smiles at the camera. Her hair is flipped to one side. One hand is on her hip, one hand is outstretched. Image is in black and white.
Image of Shannon Finnegan: Me, a white person with shoulder-length, blonde hair looking directly at the camera. I'm wearing my favorite outfit — a wood grain sweatshirt and pant set. The sweatshirt has contrasting sleeves with a squiggle pattern and sleeve cuffs in two different colors. There are rocks and foliage out-of-focus in the background.

Asiya Wadud is the author of Crosslight for Youngbird, day pulls down the sky/ a filament in gold leaf (written collaboratively with Okwui Okpokwasili), Syncope and the forthcoming No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body. Asiya is a 2019-2020 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council artist-in-residence and a 2020 Danspace Project PLATFORM writer-in-residence. Her work has been presented at Mount Tremper Arts and Danspace Project and recent writing appears in e-flux journal, BOMB Magazine, Social Text Journal, FENCE, Makhzin, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches poetry at Saint Ann’s School.




Shannon Finnegan is a multidisciplinary artist making work about accessibility and disability culture. They have done projects with Banff Centre, the High Line, MCA Denver, Tallinn Art Hall, Nook Gallery, and the Wassaic Project. They have spoken about their work at the Brooklyn Museum, School for Poetic Computation, The 8th Floor, and The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. In 2018, they received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. In 2019, they were an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam. Their work has been written about in Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the New York Times. They live and work in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo credit: Jordan Kirk

Lara Atallah is a New York based Lebanese artist working with Photography. Her work explores the archive's role in the shaping of historical narratives.

Sevinç Çalhanoğlu is an artist and researcher whose work focuses on memory of space, narratives and the transformational aspects of literature. In addition to poems and essays, she creates multidis-ciplinary literary works incorporating sound and photography. Among the readings and exhibitions she participated in are; in the footsteps of a poem, YFD 10: One Must Continue, Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul (2019); Read My World Festival, Amsterdam (2018); Double Language performance series, Soloway Gallery, New York (2018); Vanishing Mediator, Evliyagil Museum, Ankara (2018); But the city remains the same, HER HÂL, Salt Galata, Istanbul (2017), and Sea of not seeing, Tiny Office, Consulate of Sweden, Istanbul (2017). She presented her article, “How did the Istanbul Biennial transfrom the city?’’ at the Annual Meeting of American Folklore Society (Long Beach, USA, 2015). She works as a researcher for Kundura Hafiza, an archive and oral history project of an old shoe factory in Istanbul. She is the author of two poetry books in Turkish: Evde bir gezinti (Perifer-ik) (Nod Publications, 2016), and Et/ve/Fal (Heterotopya Publications, 2017).

Chia-Lun Chang is the author of One Day We Become Whites (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2016). She has received support from Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Tofte Lake Center, Vermont Studio Center and Poets House. Born and raised in New Taipei City, Taiwan, she lives in New York City.

Alisha Mascarenhas is a poet, editor and occasional translator whose work has appeared in various journals and publications, and featured at the Never Apart Gallery in Montréal and the Young Writers Festival in Paris. Alisha is co-editor of READ: a journal of inter-translation and holds a BA in Post-Colonial Feminist Poetics from the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University and an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she now lives.

Madison McCartha is a black queer poet and multimedia artist with recent work (now or soon) in Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, The Fanzine, jubilat, Prelude, Yalobusha Review and elsewhere. His debut book of poetry, FREAKOPHONE WORLD, is forthcoming from Inside the Castle in 2021. Madison holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and is a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz.

Rebekah Smith is a translator, writer, scholar, bookmaker, and editor at Ugly Duckling Presse.