Poetry School

  • VENUE: Grey Noise, Unit 24, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE
  • START: 11:00 AM
  • END: 07:00 PM
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How does poetry come to be and what does it do? Poetry School is a teaching, publishing, performance, and archival display space organized around this question. The school’s curriculum begins where Jill Magi’s book of poetry SPEECH leaves off—with the proposal that poetry, art, and life is made through recursivity. Magi wrote SPEECH over the course of five years while simultaneously learning to weave, while taking walks in her Abu Dhabi neighborhood, and while researching comparative notions of freedom, the modern subject, and extra-citizenship. Rather than determining an arrival, SPEECH, as a record of continuous encounter, makes a lyrical argument for belonging and place, book and artefact, language and literature as inherently unstable, becoming, and communal. During her walks she often took bits and pieces from the environment home with her—a feather, a twig, a palm frond, a paver—in order to paint likenesses of these objects, and, as an embroiderer, she did so in a slow and “textilic” or piece-by-piece manner. These paintings, along with stacks of hand-woven cloth and handmade book objects, create the archive on display in the first part of the gallery. Poetry School invites visitors, students, and resident writers to encounter the archive and to then linger in the space beyond—a space for reading, listening to, talking about, and making poetry with others. The gallery will also be a place for making literature with a “mobile micro-press” designed by Magi to house all the implements of chapbook making: bookbinding tools, a small printer, staplers, needle and string, and paper.


Poetry School Events:

1 February, 2-4PM: Shamma Al Bastaki, Sarah Al Mehairi, and Jill Magi in residence

1 February, 4.30-6PM: Poetry as other language, or how to read difficult poems: a reading and discussion facilitated by Jill Magi with participation from special guests

15 February, 2-4PM: Isaac Sullivan and Jill Magi in residence

29 February, 2-4PM: Deepak Unnikrishnan and Jill Magi in residence

29 February, 5PM: A reading from the Poetry School anthology and Jill Magi’s SPEECH