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Open Call for Gallery Aferro's Poem Booth: Fall 2022

originally published: 08/18/2022

Open Call for Gallery Aferro

(NEWARK, NJ) -- Pablo Neruda once said that “laughter is the language of the soul.” And as a poet with an indelible ability to craft a verse that made us feel, see and hear our true selves, Neruda understood how laughter can resonate in ways that sobs cannot.

And it is with that idea in mind, Gallery Aferro invites poets, lyrical bards, and spoken word artists to submit their greatest rimes, sonnets, verses and odes for their upcoming exhibition, Make Me Wanna Holler. Curated by Candace Nicholson, the deadline to apply is August 27.  Apply online here

Opening on Friday, October 7th as a part of the Newark Arts Festival, the exhibition will be an audio showcase of written expression delivered via the conduit of their ongoing Poem Booth Project

In this exhibition, poets will share their beloved works exploring the expression of healing, hiding or harnessing adversity, pain or melancholy through the use of humor, wit or satire. Whether subtle or strident, works in the Make Me Wanna Holler exhibition will reveal the many ways in which we speak volumes while smiling through our tears and laughing through our suffering. 

Poets are encouraged to submit works underscoring any topic that speaks to their life experience (e.g., love, identity, parenting, discrimination, nature, aging). Submissions of written works may tap into a variety of poetic styles and formats (e.g., free verse, limerick, haiku, villanelle, elegy), but the subject matter must weave laughter or comedy into the tapestry of hardship or heartache. 

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About The Curator: Candace Nicholson is a writer, storyteller and gallery director who has spent 20 years tweaking the written word in the world of publishing, marketing and arts administration. A lover of language and literature, Nicholson has parlayed her BA in English Literature into covering the arts and culture scene as a passion, a hobby and a career. She ignited her love of poetry when editing for her high school literary magazine, ignited her love of creative writing when penning an original play for her university radio station, and ignited her love of the power of 3s when she realized it’s a great way to craft a memorable closer. An East Coast transplant, she currently resides in Newark, NJ.

What Happens If Your Work Is Selected: Like the art of stand-up comedy, the power of spoken word can convey complex ideas and visions in ways that may limit visual artists. This is why if your poem is selected to be a part of the exhibition, Gallery Aferro will ask that you record an audio version of your poem that will then be shared with visitors via our retrofitted 1960s-era phone booth located in our main gallery at 73 Market Street, Newark, NJ.

Gallery Aferro’s mission is to provide a platform for artists who seek to exchange ideas in the name of advancing human dignity and beauty, but it’s fair to say that our organization has largely been focused on visual artists. However, over time we have worked diligently to expand our scope to become more inclusive of artists that may go beyond the limitations of visual media. First, we expanded with sound media. Today, we’re expanding with literary media … and sound.

The Poem Booth Project is Gallery Aferro’s new permanent installation that will feature curated collections of spoken word poetry. Combining experimental collaboration with the power of language, we invite poets, spoken word artists, and bards of every style and verse to share an audio recording of their written works in our 1960s-era retrofitted phone booth located in the Main Gallery at 73 Market Street. 

With the ability to hold a near infinite number of works thanks to the countless phone number combinations available, gallery visitors can enjoy listening to each poem by dialing a specific phone number on the keypad. The phone numbers available are shared via a list of poems featured in a printed “phone book” within the booth for each curated collection. 

Gallery Aferro is a platform for the exchange of ideas in service of advancing human dignity and beauty, with a focus on visual arts as the vehicle, proudly located at 3 Market Street in Newark, New Jersey.




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