The Reading Room at Poem 88, July through September 2020
At Poem 88, we are and will remain in complete solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are for comprehensive police reform. We are for equity and equality for BIPOC. We express our outrage and sadness for those who have been harmed by the legacy of racism in the United States and join those in mourning for lives lost to insidious racism. Toward those goals, for the months of July, August, and September, Poem 88 will serve as a reading room and community resource to foster renewed understanding of the struggles of our friends, brothers, and sisters, and a place to disabuse ourselves of our overwhelming white privilege. At the bottom, please review the list of titles of non-fiction, art books, children's books, and poetry that we hope will put us on the right path - the one that bends toward justice.
In addition, a series of totems by Atlanta painter and mixed-media artist, Kevin Cole, created as memorials to black victims struck down by police violence will be on view. Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Cole was named Georgia State Artist of the Year in 1996 and has completed over 35 public art commissions, including the Coca-Cola Centennial Olympic Mural for the 1996 Olympic games and “Soul Ties That Matter,” a 55-foot-long installation created for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2018. The artist’s work is included in more than 3,600 public, private and corporate collections throughout the United States, including the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. We hope that the gallery, reconfigured in this way, will provide space for contemplation.