Poetic Voices of the Muslim World was created to deepen understanding of the diverse cultures of the Muslim world via its poetries. It consists of an 18-panel traveling exhibition designed to introduce the project to library patrons across the U.S., as well as a series of public programs presenting the varied poetic traditions through the scholarly interpretation of the art.
PILOT PROJECT — Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Sponsored by the NEH’s Bridging Cultures Initiative, Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World was a series of talks, readings, panels and symposia held in the spring of 2011 in New York City and curated by City Lore and Poets House in collaboration with the Asia Society. The multidisciplinary series brought together poets, scholars and artists. It culminated with an all-day symposium on May 7th at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Participating Scholars and Poets included Najwa Adra, Ammiel Alcalay, Kazim Ali, Reza Aslan, Kaveh Bassiri, Clarissa Burt, Steve Caton, Sylviane Diouf, Syed Akbar Hyder, Pierre Joris, Persis Karim, Khaled Mattawa, Jawid Mojaddedi, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, Stefania Pandolfo, Frances W. Pritchett, Michael Sells, Mahwash Shoaib, and Suzanne Stetkevych. Nearly 2,000 people attended these events. As part of Illuminated Verses, City Lore and Poets House published Essays on the Occasion of Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World.
Since 2013, over 300,000 public library visitors across the U.S. have viewed the traveling exhibition or attended programs and events related to Poetic Voices of the Muslim World. By the end of 2015, the exhibition and public programs will have been presented in ten cities:
Newark, NJ (Exhibition: Newark Public Library; Programs: Newark Museum)
Atlanta, GA (Atlanta-Fulton Public Library)
Houston, TX (Houston Public Library)
San Francisco, CA (San Francisco Public Library)
St. Louis, MO (St. Louis Public Library)
Detroit, MI (Detroit Public Library)
New York, NY (Queens Public Library)
Washington, DC (D.C. Public Library)
Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Public Library)
Jacksonville, FL (Jacksonville Public Library)
Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Public Library)
The Poetic Voices of the Muslim World traveling exhibition is accompanied by a series of public programs presenting the varied poetic traditions of the Muslim world through the scholarly interpretation of the art. See below for a full list of programs and their descriptions.