City of Poetry

City of Poetry was curated by Yolanda Wisher for the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a Pay What You Wish event during National Poetry Month in 2016. On Wednesday, April 27th, visitors were invited to explore a one-night only “City of Poetry” in the museum made up of flash workshops in special galleries, pop-up poets, random acts of poetry, and games at poetry stations in the Great Stair Hall. The evening featured performances by the 2016 Philly Youth Poetry Movement team, local poets Ahmad Almallah, Beth Feldman Brandt, Oni Lasana, Poetica, and Jaz as well as Wisher and her band The Afroeaters: Will Brock (keys), Paul Giess (trumpet), Diego Maugeri (guitar), Carol Moog (harmonica), Mark Palacio (double bass), and Anssumane Silla (percussion).

Collaborating organizations included Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, ArtWell, City Planning Poetics at PENN, For Women Collective, Germantown Artists Roundtable, Montgomery Co. Poet Laureate Program, Philadelphia Jazz Project, Philadelphia Printworks, Philadelphia Stories, The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam, The Poeticians, Spells Writing Lab, Tomorrow’s Girls, and Young Scholars: Frederick Douglass Charter School 2nd Graders.

READ MORE about City of Poetry in Wisher's words at The Philadelphia Citizen

   Nasij:  Weaving Our Cultures into a Collective Poem.  Poetry Station by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Nasij: Weaving Our Cultures into a Collective Poem. Poetry Station by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

  Gri Gri Grab Affirmation Station.  Poetry Station by Mizz Lizz. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Gri Gri Grab Affirmation Station. Poetry Station by Mizz Lizz. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

  Wish on Your Neighborhood.  Poetry Station by Davy Knittle of City Planning Poetics at PENN. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Wish on Your Neighborhood. Poetry Station by Davy Knittle of City Planning Poetics at PENN. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

 Two students from The Jubilee School in West Philadelphia hold City of Poetry passes. Visitors got their passes punched at poetry stations to earn a prize. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Two students from The Jubilee School in West Philadelphia hold City of Poetry passes. Visitors got their passes punched at poetry stations to earn a prize. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

  Saint Somebody: Celebrating Love & Struggle.  Mini-workshop by Courtney K. Bambrick of  Philadelphia Stories  in Gallery 206. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Saint Somebody: Celebrating Love & Struggle. Mini-workshop by Courtney K. Bambrick of Philadelphia Stories in Gallery 206. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

  Every Home Needs A Poem . Random Act of Poetry by the Germantown Artists Roundtable. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Every Home Needs A Poem. Random Act of Poetry by the Germantown Artists Roundtable. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

  Saint Somebody: Celebrating Love & Struggle.  Mini-workshop by Courtney K. Bambrick of  Philadelphia Stories  in Gallery 206. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Saint Somebody: Celebrating Love & Struggle. Mini-workshop by Courtney K. Bambrick of Philadelphia Stories in Gallery 206. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

  Renga Jenga.  Random Act of Poetry by Spells Writing Lab. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Renga Jenga. Random Act of Poetry by Spells Writing Lab. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

 Visitors to the City of Poetry. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Visitors to the City of Poetry. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

 Collective poem written in the City of Poetry. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Collective poem written in the City of Poetry. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

 Two young visitors write poems on the Great Stair. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Two young visitors write poems on the Great Stair. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

 Members of the 2016 Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement team performed at the end of the evening. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

Members of the 2016 Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement team performed at the end of the evening. Photo by Tieshka Smith.

  Dart on a Map.  Poetry Station by Jacob Winterstein and Jasmine Combs of The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Dart on a Map. Poetry Station by Jacob Winterstein and Jasmine Combs of The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

  Yo-Yo-Poetry.  Random Act of Poetry by Lenny Belasco aka Dr. Yo-Yo of the Germantown Artists Roundtable. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Yo-Yo-Poetry. Random Act of Poetry by Lenny Belasco aka Dr. Yo-Yo of the Germantown Artists Roundtable. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

 Yolanda Wisher and The Afroeaters perform at City of Poetry in front of a Karina Puente hand-cut backdrop. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

Yolanda Wisher and The Afroeaters perform at City of Poetry in front of a Karina Puente hand-cut backdrop. Photo by Tieshka Smith. 

 Yolanda Wisher and The Afroeaters perform at City of Poetry in front of a Karina Puente hand-cut backdrop. Photo by Karina Puente. 

Yolanda Wisher and The Afroeaters perform at City of Poetry in front of a Karina Puente hand-cut backdrop. Photo by Karina Puente. 

 Visitors to the City of Poetry chill outside the museum's pop culture exhibition.

Visitors to the City of Poetry chill outside the museum's pop culture exhibition.