The Phoenix Poetry Series showcases some of the best poets in our community. This month, Jia Oak Baker and Lois Roma-Deeley will be reading their work at The Coronado. The event takes place on Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. 2201 N 7th St, Phoenix, Arizona 85006. For more information, please visit the Facebook event.
Jia Oak Baker is the author of two chapbooks, Well Enough to Travel (Five Oaks Press) and Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl Press). She is the recipient of a 2015 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and is a literary teaching artist for the City of Phoenix. She has been awarded residencies from the Wurlitzer Foundation and from Hedgebrook. Jia earned a MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches at Paradise Valley Community College.
Lois Roma-Deeley is the author of four collections of poetry, the latest being The Short List of Certainties (Franciscan University Press, 2017), which won the Jacopone da Todi Poetry Book Series Award. High Notes, her third collection was a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist forms the basis of a music drama for which she wrote the book and lyrics. Her first and second collections are Rules of Hunger and North Sight. She was named 2012-2013 U.S Professor of the Year-Community College by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE. She’s published in twelve national anthologies including Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, Pocket Poets Series). Roma-Deeley has won numerous awards and honors for her poetry, and her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the U.S. and Canada. She’s taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels and served as poetry co-editor for PKP Forum for ten years.
Eye lounge and Four Chambers worked together to pair 11 local authors with 11 eye lounge artists to produce original literary responses to the artists work. After months of coffee, conversation, studio visits and mutual making of art, the end result, In Sight: An Ekphrastic Collaboration between eye lounge and Four Chambers Press is 8″ x 8″, 128 pages long, and features 20 works of art , 7 poems, 3 short stories and 1 mixed media work.
In Sight will be displayed from March 18th through April 10th, 2016 at eye lounge gallery and artspace (419 E Roosevelt, Phoenix, AZ 85004) with a live performance at the Newton (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013) on Saturday, April 16th at 4 pm.
View the featured work at the Four Chambers website, and check out the live performance on the Facebook event.
Four Chambers—what people may or may not know is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, Arizona, also a figurative heart—is looking for local authors to write work in response to exhibitions and collections housed in the Phoenix Art Museum so they can put together a boutique chapbook and stage a live performance in the gallery during Art Detour on First Friday, March 6th (submissions for which close Sunday, February 1st 2015).
Art Loves Literature
Sometimes–in all the hubbub of giving greater visibility to the literary arts and encouraging their larger participation in the cultural scene–people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art as much as they’d like to. To stop for a moment. Breathe. Smell the roses. The important things in life get missed.
So when things come up and literature doesn’t get to spend as much time with art as it would like to, art can get a little sad.
“I mean, I know literature’s been working really hard to create another space in this city where people can come together, have meaningful interactions and build sustainable forms of community and relationship—we’re all so busy trying to do our own thing—it’s just that, well,” art pauses, looks off into the distance and then down. “We just used to have so much fun together. Literature really understood me.” Art sniffs, quavers, and looks up with sad, shining eyes. “I just miss it.”
What happened? Art and literature made each other so happy. They had such a long history. And now, art is completely heartbroken, literature is lonelier than ever, it has no idea what happened, and it has no idea what to do.
Literature Loves Art
So literature, distraught, called Four Chambers. And after much heartfelt discussion—tears streaming down literature’s face, Four Chambers nodding empathetically on the other line—Four Chambers thinks the best thing literature can do is to ask local authors to go to the Phoenix Art Museum, walk through the galleries, and write something responding to the Museum’s collection of work.
This, the magazine thinks, is the way to win back art’s heart, and will show art that literature cares more than a vintage crockpot from the 1970s or a small yellow cactus in a concrete pot ever could (though both of these would make really great gifts). Then art will understand that literature is truly sorry for whatever it did wrong, people in Phoenix will have a greater sense of cultural cohesiveness and shared identity, and art and literature can continue building the long-lasting relationship they already have.
Four Chambers Loves You
“So all silliness aside,” explains the magazine’s Founder and Editor in Chief Jake Friedman, standing in front of the Art Museum dressed as a baby cupid, “If all we do is help people fall in love with art and / or literature,” adjusting his cloth diaper, shifting the bow and arrow in his hand, “if people can have a slightly more meaningful experience in their life because of this project,” a cold wind causes Friedman to shiver, a wing falling off. “Well…” Friedman shrugs. “That would be a beautiful thing.”
Individuals who are interested in visiting the museum may do so for free every Wednesday evening from 3 to 10 pm or every First Friday night from 6 to 10 pm, and any other time, the Museum is open for a modest and reasonable fee. Four Chambers will also be organizing a tour at the Museum Wednesday January 6th at 6:30 pm. Selected works are available online at http://egallery.phxart.org/.
Submissions for the project close Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 11:59 PM MST.
About Four Chambers Press
Four Chambers Press is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ that wants to expose you to wonderful literature + give you something to do every once in a while + make your life slightly more meaingful. For more information please visit http://fourchamberspress.com.