For And Nor But Or Yet So

Monday, Oct 18, 2021 – Mar 13, 2022

This installation, created by artist and designer Bob Faust, rejoices in the poems of Patricia Smith and invites you to recall our connectedness and partake in healing.

Smith, who was raised on the West Side of Chicago, is the winner of numerous awards, including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She is a mentor and inspiration to a generation of poets, and a treasure for innumerable readers.

The poems gathered here as QR codes collectively create a “family tree” of work selected by Smith, tracing generative connections between poets past and present.

In this installation, poems have been placed amid interwoven patterns of healing plants: ever expanding layers of beauty, nourished by rain.

Poem excerpts are from a crown of sonnets by Patricia Smith, from a book of photographs by Sandro Miller titled Crowns: My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom (Skira, 2021), which will appear in the November 2021 issue of Poetrymagazine. Additional excerpts are from “Prologue—And Then She Owns You,” (Blood Dazzler, 2008), and “Down 4 the Up Stroke,” (Teahouse of the Almighty, 2006) both by Patricia Smith and published by Coffee House. 

Patricia Smith is the recipient of the 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for outstanding lifetime achievement. Smith’s poetic works include Incendiary Art (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2017), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Prize and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Bob Faust makes work to inform, empower, and/or instigate in the service and celebration of human difference. He is described as “part artist, part designer, and part mediator” and is the principal and creative director for Faust, a Chicago-based art and design studio with a focus on cultural articulation. He is also the partner and design collaborator of artist Nick Cave. Together, the two recently opened a dynamic, multi-use creative space in Chicago called Facility. As an entity, it believes that art and design can create peace, build power, and change the world... that by fostering an environment and community built from your dreams you will wake up daily within your destiny.

Poems included as QR codes in the installation are

Ai—“Woman to Man”

Fatimah Asghar—“If They Should Come for Us”

Gwendolyn Brooks—“the mother”

Mahogany Browne—“The Ache”

Franny Choi—“We Used Our Words We Used What Words We Had”

Lucille Clifton—“jasper texas 1998”

Wanda Coleman—“Beaches, Why I Don’t Care for Them”

Stephen Dobyns—“Arrested Saturday Night.”

Safia Elhlilo—“Modern Sudanese Poetry”

Annie Finch—“Final Autumn”

Terrance Hayes—“American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin [“I lock you in an American sonnet that is part prison”]”

Faylita Hicks—"Photo of a Girl, 1992: Gremlins”

June Jordan—“1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer”

Nate Marshall—”Harold's Chicken Shack #1”

Rachel McKibbens—“salvage”

Angel Nafis—”Ghazal for Becoming Your Own Country”

Hieu Minh Nguyen—“Changeling”

Marilyn Nelson—“How I Discovered Poetry”

Danez Smith—“alternate names for black boys”

Paul Tran—“Like Judith Slaying Holofernes”

Jean Valentine—“The Door:”

Margaret Walker—“For My People”