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Poetry Workshop: Spoken Word for Adults

July 16, 2022
11 am–12:30 pm

How do you tell your story? How do others experience it? What does transformation look like to you, and where does its potential reside in your body?

In conjunction with Nicole Miller: A Sound, a Signal, the Circus, The Griot Museum of Black History hosts a series of site-specific poetry workshops that engage with the history of their location in St. Louis. Led by poet Precious Musa and collaborators, the spoken word workshops offer opportunities to reflect on how sensory perceptions can reveal answers to questions of belonging, displacement, and erasure, exploring what it means to live in the wake of the past.

No prior preparation or background is necessary to participate. This 90-minute program is free and open to the public.

The July 16 workshop at the Kemper Art Museum is led by Precious Musa and Lillian Gardner and is designed for adult audiences but is open to all.

Space is limited to 20 participants. Register here >>

Additional workshops will be held on May 7 for middle school students and June 11 for high school students, both at The Griot.

Questions about the workshop or transportation reimbursement? Contact Meredith Lehman, head of museum education, at lehman.meredith@wustl.edu.

About the facilitators

Precious Musa is a first-generation Nigerian American Black girl. She graduated from Smith College with her BA in English and Africana Studies with a Poetry Concentration and earned her MFA in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Precious’s writing often engages the inner life of the body, fugitivity, and belonging. She participated in the 2020 Tin House Workshop where she worked under Hanif Abdurraqib. Her poems appear in “Tupelo Quarterly,” “West Trestle Review,” “Black Perspectives,” and elsewhere. As a way to begin answering questions around Black grief and joy formed during undergrad, Precious developed, curated, and launched “Listen, Look: A Reconciliatory Journey Through Black Grief and Joy,” a multimedia installation featuring Black St. Louis artists. The installation brought her closer to her love for visual storytelling, and she’s been immersed in that world ever since. Precious currently resides in St. Louis where she’s learning how to commune with her ancestors, speak with them, and language their story.

Lillian Gardner is an African and Native American poet, visual artist, musician, and dancer. She earned a BFA at Webster University from the Department of Art, Design, and Art History. Through her work, she acknowledges and promotes underrepresented groups in the arts. She believes that being an artist and writer takes a certain amount of strength and dedication. The arts are such a demanding field that draws out vulnerability, passion, character, perseverance, precision, intuition, and creativity. Her practice beckons her to translate the ongoing experiences she encounters in life into figurative tools that construct stories that change with time. Her work is a reflection of her current environment, the state of being present. She is currently writing a book of prose poetry analyzing the definition and genre of a “love story,” how relationships influence and shape us into individuals.

Image credits

Photo of Precious Musa by Ibn Orator; self-portrait by Lillian Gardner

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