A Poetry Workshop with Magdalena Gómez

In this writing workshop, participants will view and interpret a self-selected image from Pablo Delano’s installation The Museum of the Old Colony. The intention of the workshop is to provide tools with which to interrogate, decode and respond to an image through the written word, to heighten critical viewing, and self awareness in how one approaches viewing. Do we look or do we see? Do we accept the superficial first glance, or look and think again?

We will begin with self and group trust building theater based activities, preparing the body and mind, to enter into engagement with the image. We will explore how the immediate state of our bodies can influence how we see and respond to an image, and how we can open ourselves to a deeper experience and understanding of what is before us. We will move to music, vocalize, and learn techniques for a visceral viewing experience, followed by creative writing time activating an Ekphrastic response through poetic monologue.

Wednesday, October 17th
Hampshire College Art Gallery

This event is co-sponsored by Hampshire College Art Gallery and Ethics & the Common Good.

Magdalena Gómez is the author of Shameless Woman, a memoir in poems, published by Red Sugarcane Press, NYC. She is a cultural organizer, vanguard Nuyorican performance poet since 1971, playwright and the co-founder and artistic director of Teatro V!da, the first Latin@ theater in Springfield, MA.

In 2010, NYC’s Pregones Theater named Ms. Gómez a National Endowment for the Arts Master Artist and produced her selected poems and monologues, Dancing in My Cockroach Killers as a musical. After multiple successful runs since 2013 Off-Broadway; in Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. in 2018 at the renowned Gala Theater, it returns for another Off-Broadway run at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in NYC, this November. As a poet, Magdalena performed nationally with the late composer and baritone saxophonist, Fred Ho. This year, Teatro V!da was invited to become the Theater in Residence at the Bing Arts Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Magdalena’s archives are housed at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Her poems have been widely published and anthologized in publications such as: The ProgressiveBerkshire Journal; L.A. Times; and Palabra, among many othersMagdalena is a monthly contributer to the AfAm Point of View newspaper based in Springfield, MA.

She has written 24 poems in response to The Museum of the Old Colony, and tells us “I don’t think I’m done yet. Every image holds endless possibilities for the thoughtful and informed viewer. As the oldest extant colony in the world, the study of the histories and cultures of Puerto Rico should be required in all U.S. curricula. In the meantime, Pablo Delano’s installation gives us an opportunity to deepen our insights, self-education and humanity.”

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