April 3, 2024 6:30pm 8:00pm
Public Workshop: Publics of Poetry with Ryan Mather, Sasha Stiles, and Kelin Carolyn Zhang
This program is free and virtual

Kick off National Poetry Month with the first in a new series from Monument Lab curated by Monument Lab Senior Curator Yolanda Wisher.

Monument Lab’s Public Workshop Series is a resource for artists, storytellers, educators, municipal workers, organizers, and monument changemakers. Offering virtual and in-person opportunities for exploration and exchange around practices of commemoration, the Public Workshop Series will focus on different topics throughout the year.

Beyond stone and traditional monuments, we encounter many innovative initiatives in the present-day tapestry of poetry and public art projects. In this workshop,  “Publics of Poetry,” we will explore ways that poets are, can be, and can see themselves as monument changemakers. The event will illuminate the possibilities that poetry holds to foster a sense of belonging, initiate call and response, and vividly mark the presence of the past, present, and future in our memoryscapes. Poetry as public art can shape our understanding of identity and culture, disrupt power dynamics, re-imagine historical narratives, and illuminate ordinary opportunities for extraordinary connections.

Sasha Stiles is first-generation Kalmyk-American, poet, language artist and AI researcher, recognized as a pioneer of generative literature and blockchain poetics. Her debut book, Technelegy, is co-authored by a custom AI-powered text generator and probes how technology has made us more and more human over time. 

Ryan Mather is a designer and artist focused on technology and play. Kēlín Carolyn Zhang is an independent designer, artist, and educator whose practice centers on making software with a soul. Mather and Zhang are the creators of Poetry Camera, a unique piece of tech powered by AI that generates original poems based on the images it snaps.

Moderated by Yolanda Wisher, Monument Lab Senior Curator and former poet laureate of Philadelphia. 

Curator: Yolanda Wisher
Presenters: Ryan Mather, Sasha Stiles, Kelin Carolyn Zhang 
Designer: Jonai Gibson Selix 
Tech: Cleary Rubinos 
Monument Lab Team: Dina Paola Rodriguez and Bella Rodriguez
Monument Lab Board of Directors: Lola Bakare (Secretary), Ellery Roberts Biddle, Amari Johnson, Monica O. Montgomery (Vice Chair), Stephan Nicoleau (Treasurer), Michelle Angela Ortiz, Samala, Kirk Savage, and Tiffany Tavarez (Chair)

Major support for Monument Lab’s Public Workshop Series is provided by  the Mellon Foundation.