Seeds of Change Lunchtime Reading: Wendy S. Walters

Lunchtime Reading Series Tue 7 Nov 2017 12.30PM-2.00PM Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons School of Design
66 Fifth Avenue

Free Admission, Free Sandwich with RSVP to
Additional readings
11/9 With Patricia Klindienst
11/14 Guest curated by The High Line
11/16 With Jennifer Kabat
11/21 With Alex Smith and M. Téllez from Metropolarity
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From November 3 to 27, 2017 the Vera List Center hosts a series of bi-weekly lunchtime readings in the context of Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization. These readings, organized in collaboration with The High Line, activate and amplify the metaphors and relations embedded in the exhibition.

Wendy S. Walters joins us on Tuesday, November 7 to read from her 2015 collection of essays and stories Multiply/Divide. Walters has been described by Phillip Lopate as an author who "fearlessly discloses the personal and embeds her individuality in the larger dilemmas of the historical moment." This most recent collection of her writing speaks to the imbrication of race, gender and class to limn the historical, social and structural qualities that shape the identities of individuals living in the United States.

In the context Seeds of Change, a long term project Maria Thereza Alves initiated in 1999, the artist situates the presence of ballast flora in the contemporary landscape as evidence of alternative histories and ways of knowing the land we are inhabiting. In her words "The earth you think you're standing on is not, it is someplace else, the only way you would know the place is from the flower."

The readings in this series address the variegated intersections of Alves' project and those of contemporary writers including: Wendy S. Walters, Patricia Klindienst, Jennifer Kabat, Alex Smith (Metropolarity) and M. Téllez (Metropolarity). To expand on these connections each reading draws out specific narrative threads over the course of this month long reading series engagement.

Wendy S. Walters is the author of Multiply/Divide (Sarabande Books, 2015) Troy, Michigan (Futurepoem Books, 2014), Longer I Wait, More You Love Me (2009) and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles (2005), both published by Palm Press (Long Beach, CA). Walters was a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, and her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Bookforum, FENCE, Harper's Magazine, and elsewhere. She has won a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a research fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution, a scholarship from Bread Loaf, and multiple fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is a founder of The First Person Plural Reading Series in Harlem, a Contributing Editor at The Iowa Review , Associate Professor, Literary Studies at the Eugene Lang College, The New School, and Associate Dean, School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons School of Design.

The Seeds of Change Lunchtime Reading Series is organized in collaboration with Melanie Kress, Eric Rodriguez, Jasmin Chabla and Andi Pettis at The High Line. These readings draw on a community of elected affinities responding to the exhibition and look to the future it promises in the summer of 2018 when the plants are re-sited in ballast flora gardens around New York, including the forthcoming installation at The High Line, as well as Pioneer Works and Weeksville Heritage Center.

Hyperallergic is the exclusive media sponsor for the International Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018.