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The Rubin Museum of Art Presents POEMS ABOUT NOTHING on Jan. 26, 2011
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January 4, 2011 - by CG News Desk

On January 26, 2011 at 7:00pm New York City's Rubin Museum of Art, in association with Augury Books, will present an evening of poetry with seven renowned poets.
 
Kimiko Hahn, Saskia Hamilton, Noelle Kocot, David Lehman, Ben Lerner, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Stacy Szymaszek will read poems by themselves and others reflecting absence, emptiness, and nothing—themes inherent in Buddhist art and philosophy.
 
Poems about Nothing is one in a series of programs inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-Inspired Contemporary Art. Like Poems about Nothing, the five artists’ works featured in Grain of Emptiness have been influenced by the tenets of Buddhism, namely, its central principles of emptiness and the fleeting nature of all things.
 
Programming Producer Tim McHenry notes, “Ancient Zen Buddhist koans are famous for presenting the reader with mysterious questions that are cryptic and paradoxical. Emily Dickenson, Robert Frost and many Western poets have confronted what “nothing” could be. But what is the contemporary poet’s relationship to the subject of “nothing?” I’m so pleased we can bring these seven celebrated poets together to excavate the multitudes of meaning behind nothingness, and to celebrate the ephemeral nature of the spoken word.”
 
 
Tickets
$12; $7 students with I.D. Tickets include admission to the galleries
Online: www.rmanyc.org/tickets; Box office: 212-620-5000 x344; or in person
 
Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues
By subway: 1 to 18th Street; 2, 3, F, M to 14th Street; N, R, Q, 4, 5, 6 to Union Square
www.rmanyc.org; 212-620.5000
 
The Poets
 
Kimiko Hahn is the author of eight books of poems, including: Earshot(awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize); The Unbearable Heart (an American Book Award); The Narrow Road to the Interior, which utilizes Japanese forms; and her latest Toxic Flora, poems inspired by science. Hahn is a recipient of a number awards—the most recent area Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award and The Shelley Memorial Prize—and she is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York.
 
Saskia Hamilton is the author of As for Dream (2001) and Divide These(2005), the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (2005), and the co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008). Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York.
 
Noelle Kocot is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006) and Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009), as well as a discography forthcoming in 2010 from Wave, and a full-length poetry collection, The Bigger World(Wave, 2011). She has won awards from The American Poetry Review, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Fund for Poetry and The Academy of American Poets, among others. She lives in New Jersey.
 
David Lehman is the author of Sign of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man, several books of poetry, and is Series Editor of The Best American Poetry. His essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in all the major literary publications, from the Times Literary Supplement, to The New Yorker to The Paris Review. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institution of Arts and Letters. Mr. Lehman’s book A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs recently won the 42nd Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor award for outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music. He lives in New York City.
 
Ben Lerner earned a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University, and was a Fulbright scholar in Madrid. Lerner is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including Mean Free Path (2010) and Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. His sonnet sequence, The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), won the Hayden Carruth Award, was chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s 12 best poetry books, and was a Lannan Literary Selection. His poetry has also been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry,New Voices (2008), and 12x12: Conversations in Poetry and Poetics (2009).

Brenda Shaughnessy received her B.A. in literature and women's studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and she earned an M.F.A. at Columbia University. She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar(Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Interior with Sudden Joy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), which was nominated for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Bomb, Boston Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.  She is the poetry editor at Tin House magazine and currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University and Eugene Lang College at the New School.

Stacy Szymaszek was born in Milwaukee, WI. She is the author of the books Emptied of All Ships (Litmus Press, 2005) and Hyperglossia(Litmus Press, 2009), as well as numerous chapbooks, includingOrizaba: A Voyage with Hart Crane (Faux Press, 2008), Stacy S.: Autoportraits (OMG, 2008), and from Hart Island (Albion Books, 2009). From 1999 to 2005, she worked at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. In 2005 she moved to New York City where she is the current Artistic Director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church.
 
 
About the Rubin Museum of Art
 
The Rubin Museum of Art holds one of the world’s most important collections of Himalayan art. Paintings, pictorial textiles, and sculpture are drawn from cultures that touch upon the arc of mountains that extends from Afghanistan in the northwest to Myanmar (Burma) in the southeast and includes Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, and Bhutan. This rich cultural legacy, largely unfamiliar to Western viewers, offers an uncommon opportunity for visual adventure and aesthetic discovery. The museum runs an active set of programs for the general public that help illuminate themes inherent in its exhibitions. The current series is Talk about Nothing with visionaries Bill Viola, Peter Sellars, Laurie Anderson and 40 others addressing the notion of nothingness.


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