Open call for the Aferro Gallery Poetry Kiosk: Fall 2022


originally published: 08/18/2022

(NEWARK, New Jersey) — Pablo Neruda once said that “laughter is the language of the soul”. And as a poet with an indelible ability to craft verse that makes us feel, see, and hear our true selves, Neruda understood how laughter can resonate in ways that sobbing cannot.

And it is with this idea in mind that Aferro Gallery invites poets, lyrical bards and spoken word artists to submit their greatest rhymes, sonnets, verses and odes for their next exhibition, make me scream. Hosted by Candace Nicholson, the deadline to apply is August 27. Apply online here.

Opening Friday, October 7 as part of the Newark Arts Festival, the exhibit will be an audio showcase of written expression delivered through the conduit of their ongoing course Poem Booth Project.

In this exhibition, poets will share their favorite works exploring the expression of healing, concealing or harnessing adversity, pain or melancholy through the use of humour, wit or satire. Whether subtle or shrill, works in the make me scream will uncover the many ways we speak while smiling through our tears and laughing through our suffering.

Poets are encouraged to submit works highlighting any topic that speaks to their life experience (eg love, identity, parenthood, discrimination, nature, aging). Submissions of written works may draw on a variety of poetic styles and formats (e.g. free verse, limerick, haiku, villanelle, elegy), but the subject to have to weave laughter or comedy into the tapestry of hardship or heartache.

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About the curator: Candace Nicholson is a writer, storyteller and gallery executive who has spent 20 years honing her writing skills in publishing, marketing and arts administration. A lover of language and literature, Nicholson used her BA in English Literature to cover the arts and culture scene as a passion, hobby and career. She ignited her love of poetry while editing her high school’s literary magazine, ignited her love of creative writing by writing an original piece for her college radio station, and ignited her love of the power of 3 when she realized it was a great way to create a memorable connection. An East Coast transplant, she currently resides in Newark, NJ.

What happens if your work is selected: Like the art of stand-up comedy, the power of the spoken word can convey complex ideas and visions in ways that can limit visual artists. That’s why if your poem is selected to be part of the exhibition, Galerie Aferro will ask you to record an audio version of your poem which will then be shared with visitors via our renovated 1960s phone booth located in our gallery. main at 73 Market Street, Newark, NJ.

Gallery Aferro’s mission is to provide a platform for artists who seek to exchange ideas in the name of advancing human dignity and beauty, but it’s fair to say that our organization has largely focused on visual artists. However, over time we have worked diligently to broaden our reach to include more artists who can go beyond the boundaries of visual media. First, we expanded to sound media. Today, we grow with literary media… and sound.

The cabin of poems Project is Gallery Aferro’s new permanent installation that will showcase collections of spoken word poetry. Combining experimental collaboration with the power of language, we invite poets, spoken word artists and bards of all styles and verses to share an audio recording of their written works in our renovated 1960s phone booth located in the gallery main at 73 Market Street.

With the ability to hold a near-infinite number of works thanks to the countless phone number combinations available, gallery visitors can enjoy listening to each poem by dialing a specific phone number on the keypad. Available phone numbers are shared via a list of poems featured in a “phone book” printed in the booth for each curated collection.

Aferro Gallery is a platform for the exchange of ideas serving the advancement of human dignity and beauty, with a focus on the visual arts as a vehicle, proudly located at 3 Market Street in Newark, New Jersey.

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