New Perspectives Talk: Hannah Weiner's Signal Flag Poems

November 30, 2023
5:30 pm
Kemper 104

"Intimate Distances: Trans-space Communication in Hannah Weiner’s Signal Flag Poems"

Kristin Emanuel, PhD student in English & Comparative Literature in Arts & Sciences, discusses a selection of mixed-media poems by Hannah Weiner in the Kemper Art Museum’s collection. Weiner’s Signal Flag Poems blend visual composition with International Code, transcribing semaphore flags and morse signals. In this talk, Emanuel considers what happens when systems like the International Code of Signals are repurposed for intimate human exchanges. She explores Weiner’s aspirational and prescient approach to trans-space communication, one which blurs image with text, paper with performance. Through Hannah Weiner’s work, Emanuel asserts the intrinsically visual nature of poetry, imagining a poetics of translation that reaches across disciplines and distances.

Free and open to the public.

About the speaker

Kristin Emanuel is pursuing a PhD in English & Comparative Literature. Her research investigates intersections between poetry and art, including painting poems, calligrams, and comics poetry. While earning her MFA in poetry writing from the University of Kansas, she designed and taught courses on visual literacy, regularly bringing her students to the Spencer Museum of Art. She is now a 2023–24 Museum Educator Intern at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Her visual poems, comics, and criticism have been published in journals such as Shenandoah, The Indianapolis Review, and Colorado Review. She was also recently selected as finalist in the 2022 Boston Review annual poetry contest. You can find out more about her work here >> 

Image credit

Hannah Weiner (American, 1928–1997), Signal Flag Poems, from S.M.S. No. 3, 1968. Mixed media. University purchase, 1990.