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Japanese-American Poet and Photojournalist, Jun Fujita, is the focus of Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation Exhibition

Photographer Unknown, Courtesy of Graham and Pamela Lee private collection. More photographs HERE.

The November sky without a star
Droops low over the midnight street;
On the pale pavement, cautiously
A leaf moves.
– Jun Fujita



Groundbreaking poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita is the focus of a new exhibition presented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation. A multi-media experience comprising poetry, photographs, personal correspondence and archival artifacts, Jun Fujita: American Visionary explores the life and career of one of Chicago’s master chroniclers.

As the first Japanese American photojournalist, Fujita captured many of the most infamous moments in Chicago history, including the Eastland Disaster, the 1919 race riots and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. As an English-language poet writing in the Japanese tanka tradition, his poems appeared regularly in Poetry magazine, published in Chicago since 1912.

Jun Fujita was a visionary ahead of his time, both in his visual and written art forms, as well as his contemporary 45-year partnership with Florence Carr,” said Katherine Litwin, Poetry Foundation library director and exhibition cocurator. “We’re honored to partner with the Newberry to further expand and unfold the layers of his life and Chicago legacy through this exhibition.”

As anti-Japanese xenophobia crested during World War II, Fujita faced hostility, prejudice, and persecution. The U.S. government declared him an “enemy alien,” and his assets were frozen. Yet despite this adversity, Fujita achieved unprecedented success in his profession and offered an alternative model of what it means to be “American.”

“Jun Fujita put forth a vision for what’s possible, particularly love, acceptance, and sanctuary in a place bent on exclusion,” adds Fred Sasaki, Poetry art director and exhibition curator.



Morning Woods
A static mood, in the morning woods
Wet and clear –
In a majestic pattern, leaves are spellbound
By a fawn, ears perked.

JUN FUJITA was born Junnosuke Fujita on 13 December 1888 in Nishimura, a village near Hiroshima, Japan. When he was older, Fujita moved from Japan to Canada, where he worked odd jobs to save enough money to move to the United States of America, which he considered to be a “land of opportunity.” He moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended and graduated from Wendell Phillips Academy High School, a four-year predominantly African-American public school whose notable alumni include Nat “King” Cole, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Archibald Carey, Jr. Following his high school graduation, he studied mathematics at the Armour Institute of Technology, which later became the Illinois Institute of Technology, with plans to become an engineer. To help pay his way through college, Fujita took a job as the first and only photojournalist at the Chicago Evening Post, which later became the Chicago Daily News. MORE [Wikipedia]

Read more of Jun Fujita’s poetry HERE at Poetry Foundation. His collection is available through Amazon but is unfortunately prohibitively priced. It is not available through the Gutenberg Project or Internet Archive. Poems and journal articles about Fujita’s photography are accessible at JSTOR HERE.



Jun Fujita: American Visionary runs from January 24 through March 31 at the Newberry. The exhibition is free and open to all.

Throughout the exhibition, a series of related public programs will further explore its major themes. These programs include:

Curator Talk with Katherine Litwin, Fred Sasaki, and Graham Lee
Tuesday, February 4, at 6:00 PM

The Love and Life of Jun Fujita
Thursday, February 13, at 6:00 PM

Photographic Memory: Carlos Javier Ortiz Reflects on Jun Fujita’s Iconic Images
Tuesday, March 10, at 6:00 PM

*****

This post is compiled courtesy of the Poetry Foundation, Wikipedia, and Amazon. The poems are courtesy of Poetry Foundation in concert with JSTOR.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

About the Newberry Library
At the Newberry Library, visitors and researchers explore centuries of human history, from the Middle Ages to the present. The library’s collection—some 1.6 million books, 600,000 maps, and 5 million manuscript pages—is accessible to all in Newberry reading rooms, program spaces, exhibition galleries, and online digital resources. Since its founding in 1887, the Newberry has remained dedicated to deepening our collective understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us. As individuals engage with Newberry collections and staff, they discover stories that bridge the past and present and illuminate the human condition.


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Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Where Literature Hits the Streets

“Workingman’s Cottages” built by philanthropist Alfred Tredway White as low-cost housing in 1876 (2009) / Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn / photograph released into the Universal Public Domain

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” F. Scott Fitzgerald



Another one of those events that not only sounds like great fun but similar events could easily be organized in any community anywhere in the world.

For the fifth season, PEN America is presenting its Lit Crawl NYC: Where Literature Hits the Streets on Saturday, October 12. This vibrant festival of books and culture will wind its way through Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill this fall, featuring lively conversations and events staged at local businesses throughout the neighborhood. This pub crawl style festival this year includes Monique Truong and Dr. Jessica Harris, and events curated by local literary organizations.

All events are free of charge:

LIT CRAWL NYC SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12

6:00 to 7:00pm
A Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse
Warby Parker, 55 Bergen St.

Words Without Borders and SLICE Literary present a Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse. Join four international writers who, along with their translators, will stitch together a story in multiple languages.

Words Without Borders (WWB) is an international magazine opened to international exchange through translation, publication, and promotion of the world’s best writing and authors who are not easily accessible to English-speaking readers.



7:00 to 8:00pm
Queens Lit in Brooklyn
Bien Cuit, 120 Smith St.

Out boroughs unite! Queens is the most diverse county in the country—and the writing produced there reflects the voices of many races, religions, ages, gender identities, and sexualities, as well as those with dis/abilities and immigration stories. Newtown Literary, a nonprofit literary organization, publishes and nurtures the voices of Queens poets and writers through the publication of a literary journal and free writing classes. Come and hear poetry and prose from some of the organization’s volunteers and participate in a Queens trivia contest. Featuring Tim Fredrick, Jackie Sherbow, Malcolm Chang, and Sokunthary Svay. Presented by Newtown Literary.

2018 Queens Pride Parade: Caribbean Equality Project

Queens is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. The borough of Queens is the second largest in population (after Brooklyn), with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48 percent of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City’s boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City’s boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation’s fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.



8:00 to 9:00pm
Literary Appetites: Women on Food
Malai Ice Cream, 268 Smith St.

Charlotte Druckman’s Women on Food is a “variety show of previously unpublished essays, interviews, and ephemera from women working in the world of food.” We bring the show to life with Charlotte and two of her contributors who will discuss their roles in the book, and chat about the literary aspect of food writing and the impact gender, race, and socioeconomics have had on that tradition and in shaping their own work. Moderated by Sabrina McMillin of Grey Horse, and featuring Charlotte, novelist and food writer Monique Truong, and author, journalist and culinary historian Dr. Jessica Harris. Presented by Grey Horse.

October 29, 2010 publication date

Literary Appetities

Women on Food unites the radical, diverging female voices of the food industry in this urgent, moving, and often humorous collection of essays, interviews, questionnaires, illustrations, quotes, and ephemera.

Edited by Charlotte Druckman and featuring esteemed food journalists and thinkers, including Soleil Ho, Nigella Lawson, Diana Henry, Carla Hall, Samin Nosrat, Rachael Ray, and many others, this compilation illuminates the notable and varied women who make up the food world. Exploring issues from the #MeToo movement, gender bias in division of labor and the workplace, and the underrepresentation of women of color in leadership, to cultural trends including food and travel shows, the intersection of fashion and food, and the evolution of food writing in the last few decades, Women on Food brings together food’s most vital female voices.

This post is courtesy of Pen America and Wikipedia.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its  mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Immersive Exploration Into Auteur’s Theatrical Career: In the Company of Hal Prince, Broadway Producer, Director, Collaborator

Broadway director Harold Prince receives the Golden Plate award from Nobel laureate (literature) Toni Morrison at the American Academy of Achievement’s 46th annual International Achievement Summit in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 23, 2007 / Courtesy of the Academy of Achievement and generously released into the public domain

“I was nine. I saw Orson Welles in ‘Julius Caesar.'” It was involving, emotional, imaginative. I’ve never forgotten it.” Hal Prince



For many many reasons, I’ve loved musical theatre almost from day one. Partly, of course, it’s just fun, but I’ve also always been intrigued by the collaborative nature of the medium. Naturally writers are included in that collaboration, perhaps a career aspiration for some readers here. After all, what is theatre about if not storytelling? As poets and writers, that’s what we’re about too. We love to read stories, write them, view them, listen to them. It’s a never-ending love affair and how wonderful it is that musical theater brings story together with song (poetry, if you will) and dance.

“Way way back: Music, poetry and dance came into the world together. Sometimes they get lonely for each other.” Joy Harjo during her Inaugural Reading as Poet Laureate of the United States

Few people have helped to define American musical theatre more than Hal Prince (1928-2019), who died this past July in Reykjavík. His plays include some of my all-time faves: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Damn Yankees, Phantom of the Opera, and Zorba.

Hal Prince’s significant influence on Broadway stemmed from his reinvention of musical theatre from the script-and-score-based model to a more visual, almost cinematic art form in which the director is auteur. But it also stemmed from his appreciation for collaboration and his trusted collaborators, talented friends and colleagues who could help achieve his singular vision for a production.

Photo of Hal Prince by Van Williams. Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. copyright: NY Public Library

Now, in the interest of education, theatre history, homage, and the absolute shear pleasure of it, there’s a new free exhibition In The Company of Harold Prince: Broadway Producer, Director, Collaborator. Through the exhibition,The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts explores Prince’s creative trajectory and showcases the team of designers, stage managers, press agents, composers, and writers he assembled to create so many history-making shows. In The Company of Harold Prince is at the Library’s Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery and will be on display through March 31, 2020.

Curated by Doug Reside, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Curator of the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Division, the exhibition will display original costumes, set models, and archival video, and borrows from the aesthetic of immersive theatre, inviting visitors to pick up, examine and interact with reproductions of documents and objects from the Library’s unparalleled collections. Facsimiles of the paperwork for Pajama Game and Damn Yankees will be scattered over a recreation of Prince’s desk for visitors to look through. Digital recreations of stage manager Ruth Mitchell’s scripts will be linked to thousands of never-before-seen photographs from the Library’s collections. The exhibition will end with an open cabaret stage will allow visitors to perform songs from his shows or record their own stories about their experience with Prince’s theatrical work.

“I had the pleasure of getting to know Hal over the course of planning this exhibition,” said Reside. “Showing him initial designs and ideas about the direction of the exhibition was a thrill, as was hearing his stories about his career and the collaborators he so loved working with. We’d planned this exhibition believing that Hal would be here to enjoy it with us, and I’m so sad that that’s no longer the case. The whole Library mourns the loss of our friend, supporter, and legend, and we’re honored to celebrate his life and achievements through this exhibition.”

​A major highlight of ​​In The Company of Harold Prince is an area devoted to his collaborations with set designer​​ Boris Aronson. Aronson designed the sets behind some of Prince’s most iconic productions, and many of these models, often constructed by Aronson’s wife and design collaborator Lisa Jalowetz, have been recently restored and will be on view together for the first time public. Sets on display will include ​​Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, ​​Zorba​​, ​​Company, ​​Follies, ​​Pacific Overtures, ​and ​​A Little Night Music.

Other highlights from the exhibition include:

  • Recreation of Prince’s office with George Abbott in Rockefeller Center
  • Prince’s roulette wheel, which he kept in his office to illustrate that “theatre is a gamble”
  • Footage of Taganka Theatre’s production of Ten Days That Shook The World, which deeply influenced Prince’s aesthetic
  • Materials from the original production of Merrily We Roll Along, including cast newsletter, video of the original production, and the stage manager’s script
  • Patti LuPone’s Buenos Aires dress and wig worn during Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from the original Broadway production of Evita
  • Original costume designs by Patricia Zipprodt for Fiddler on the Roof, and Florence Klotz for Show Boat

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library for the Performing Arts will also present a series of free public programs.

In the Company of Harold Prince Public Programs

GREAT PERFORMANCES

Harold Prince: The Director’s Life 

MON, OCT 21 | 6 pm

Advance registration required

Lonny Price and David Thompson discuss and screen their documentary film Harold Prince: The Director’s Life, which premiered on PBS GREAT PERFORMANCES in November 2018. In addition to archival clips, this fascinating performance-documentary includes interviews with many of Prince’s renowned collaborators, including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, Angela Lansbury and others, all sharing their firsthand insights into his pioneering achievements in the theater.

Yes, Mr. Prince: An Evening with Harold Prince’s Assistants

THURS, OCT 24 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

From 1960 to 1976, Annette Myers scheduled the appointments, transcribed the memos, and took down the messages, as her boss brought Cabaret, Company, Follies, and other legendary Prince productions to Broadway. For this special program, Meyers and other people who worked as Prince’s assistant step out of the office and onto the stage to share their untold stories and insights on the making of theatre history.

Harold Prince’s Library Jukebox

TUES, NOV 19 | 7 PM

Advance registration required

Join Thomas Z. Shepard, legendary record producer of dozens of Broadway’s most beloved cast albums, for an interactive sound salon of Harold Prince Broadway hits.  Choose your favorite show tunes from a menu of Prince musical numbers, listen to cast recordings, and marvel at rarely seen artifacts from the Library’s unrivaled theater collections, including Jerry Bock’s home recordings, Jerome Robbins’ choreography notes, Stephen Sondheim’s discarded drafts, memos, models, manuscripts, and more.

A Marriage of Two Modernisms: Boris Aronson and Lisa Jalowetz 

MON, DEC 19 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

The spinning, Chagall fantasy of Anatevka…The tarnished, mirror-topped Kit Kat Klub…the Erector-set skeleton of city life…Director Harold Prince and artist Boris Aronson used scenic design as theatrical narrative. Behind Aronson’s sets was a unique partnership with his wife Lisa, whose Viennese modernism complemented his Russian Constructivism. Cultural Historian Marc Aronson presents on the many layers of his parents’ work.

Parade Reunion

MON, JAN 13 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

In 1997, Broadway’s most famous and successful director, Harold Prince tapped the unknown composer Jason Robert Brown to write the score for perhaps the most challenging work he’d ever conceived: Parade, a complex musical tragedy about violence, anti-Semitism, and love through adversity. Brown and playwright Alfred Uhry reunite on the Library’s stage to celebrate Prince and share memories of Parade.

Harold Prince Birthday Party, Sing Along Show and Tell 

THURS, JAN 30 | 6 PM

Company, Follies, A Little Night Music… Phantom, Evita, Cabaret, Fiddler… Merrily! Sweeney! West Side! Oh my… Lend your voice to our Harold Prince celebration. Play games, win prizes, and sing along to live performances of beloved songs from Prince musicals.

Additional programs will be added through the duration of the exhibition. Please check nypl.org/lpa for updates.

All programs listed below are free and take place at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Programs are first-come, first-served unless otherwise noted. When indicated, advance registration can be handled online or in person at the Library’s Welcome Desk. Visit nypl.org/lpa for details.

This post is courtesy of the New York Public Library, Wikipedia and my (admittedly questionable at this point) memory.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Sept. 17: Livestream of Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy hosted by FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub, PEN America, and Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator

Public Domain Pictures.net

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Winston S. Churchill



On September 17, scholars, policymakers and representatives from major social media platforms will meet at the Federal Election Commission’s headquarters in Washington to discuss how best to combat digital disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election season. The daylong symposium – hosted by FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub, PEN America, and Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator – is designed to frame and understand the risks and challenges posed by misleading ads, posts, and messages and how that disinformation could impact the upcoming campaign and election.

WHAT: “Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections”

WHEN: Tuesday, September 17 from 9am until 12:45pm

WHO: Remarks from Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff; additional confirmed speakers include Ellen Weintraub, chair of the US Federal Election Commission; Suzanne Nossel, PEN America CEO; Eileen Donahoe, Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator executive director; Ginny Badanes of Microsoft; Graphika’s Camille Francois; Twitter’s Kevin Kane; Lou Jacobson, PolitiFact senior correspondent; Nate Miller of Avaaz; Laura Rosenberger of the Alliance for Securing Democracy; Google’s Clement Wolf; and Kara Swisher, The New York Times writer and editor-at-large for Recode.

WHERE: Federal Election Commission, Hearing Room, 1050 First St. NE, Washington DC 20463

LIVESTREAM: HERE

AGENDA:

8:00: Doors open
8:30 – 9:00: Coffee & registration
9:00 – 9:10: Introduction: Framing the challenge
9:10 – 9:45: Keynote: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia
9:45 – 11:00: Session 1 Understanding the global challenge: How disinformation and new technologies affect the way people think & what we have learned from the international experience
11:00 – 12:45: Session 2: Facing the challenge in the U.S.: Solutions in the fight to save the 2020 elections
12:45 – 1:00: Closing and next steps

Afterward, the symposium organizers will distribute a list of recommendations and calls to action addressed political actors, tech companies, journalists and policy makers.

****

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton