Poetry & Art: Norma Cole, Cedar Sigo, Kevin Killian, and Frances Richard


Bay Area poetry lovers: Tomorrow (Friday, June 5, 2015), City Lights authors Norma Cole, Kevin Killian, and Cedar Sigo, along with fellow poet Frances Richard, will read from their work in celebration of the opening of a new art space at 2291 3rd Street and its first exhibition, “Concrete Is Not Always Hard,” by Ajit Chauhan. You will not find a better poetry bill in the city this night and I urge all and sundry to attend. Event description and details appear below, along with a description of the show and this exciting new space.

—Garrett Caples.

June 5-July 11, 2015 OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, JUNE 5TH, 2015
6 – 9 PM

For our inaugural project, 2291 3rd St. presents “Concrete Is Not Always Hard,” an exhibition of recent works on paper by San Francisco-based artist Ajit Chauhan. The show will run from June 5 through July 11, 2015.

The exhibition takes its name from A. Barbara Pilon’s seminal 1972 book on concrete poetry, in which she asks, “Have you ever thought of writing a poem using only a letter, a word, distortions of words, nonsense words, or no words at all? Have you ever thought of using the space around words to help the reader understand the idea you are trying to communicate?”

Taking these questions as a cue, Chauhan uses a typewriter to investigate the visual or plastic potential of language. Chauhan’s typewriter drawings use the repetition of single letters to form a sequence of fields. His interest in elementary gestures, led him to work within language in plastic terms, starting from its distinct units.

In the words of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari “Writing has nothing to do with signifying. It has to do with surveying, mapping…”

Chauhan has exhibited his work at the Saatchi Gallery in London, the UC Davis Museum, the Grimm Museum in Berlin, White Columns NY, the SONS Museum in Kruishoutem, Belgium, the Berkeley Art Museum, the DeYoung Museum, The Asian Art Museum, the Jack Hanley Gallery, New York & San Francisco, Annarumma Gallery in Naples, Italy, SVIT in Prague, Czech Republic, the Apartment in Vancouver, BC and others.


At the opening reception on Friday, June 5th at 7:00 pm, Norma Cole, Frances Richard, Cedar Sigo and Kevin Killian will read from their poetry.

Norma Cole is the author of Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988—2008, Spinoza in Her Youth, and Natural LightActualities, her collaboration with the painter Marina Adams, is due to be published by Litmus Press in September 2015.

Frances Richard is the author of Anarch (Futurepoem, 2012), The Phonemes (Les Figues Press, 2012), and See Through (Four Way Books, 2003). She writes frequently about contemporary art, and is co-author, with Jeffrey Kastner and Sina Najafi, of Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Fake Estates” (Cabinet Books, 2005). She teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Kevin Killian is a poet, playwright, novelist, and art writer living in San Francisco.  His many books include Tweaky Village and Pink Narcissus Poems.  Killian’s upcoming projects include a play, New Light on Riboflavin, for Berkeley Museum Matrix show, in conjunction with Will Brown; a new book of stories; an anthology, The Nightboat Book of New Narrative Writing 1977-1997, edited with Dodie Bellamy; and Tagged Part 2, a new collection of Killian’s intimate photographs of poets, artists, musicians, filmmakers, curators, and other denizens of the art world.

Cedar Sigo was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest and studied at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He is the author of eight books and pamphlets of poetry, including Language Arts (Wave Books, 2014), Stranger in Town (City Lights, 2010), and Expensive Magic (House Press, 2008), and two editions of Selected Writings (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003 and 2005). He was recently a visiting writer at St. Marys College. He lives in San Francisco.

ABOUT 2291 3rd St.

2291 3rd St. is the temporary headquarters of the Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco. It will host rotating exhibits featuring Bay Area artists while the Minnesota Street Project’s permanent location for housing commercial galleries is under construction.  That location, at 1275 Minnesota Street, will open in March of 2016.




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