Smart Reads: Bearden's Odyssey (Part II)

Wednesday, Mar 9, 2022 6 – 8 pm

The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood
Chicago, IL 60637

Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden

Virtual gathering

Register for Smart Reads (Required)


Join in the Smart Museum of Art’s virtual book club, Smart Reads!

In this edition of Smart Reads, we explore intersections of art and poetry through the exhibition Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine and the book Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden

We invite you to read along with us and engage in two thought-provoking conversations with host Dorian H. Nash.

Register for Smart Reads

FREE. To help build a community of participants, capacity is limited and advanced registration is required. If needed, the Smart Museum can pick up the cost of the book for participants in this reading group. Use coupon code SMARTREADS when ordering through Da Book Joint



Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden, edited by Kwame Dawes and Matthew Shenoda

Borrowing from Romare Bearden’s aesthetic palette and inspired by his Odysseus series, Bearden’s Odysseygathers, for the first time, poems from thirty-five of the most revered African diaspora poets in the United States. Poetic echoes come forth in themes of inspiration with historical intersections of one of the greatest visual artists of the twentieth century.

The award-winning editors, Kwame Dawes and Matthew Shenoda, assemble an esteemed literary congregation, with original poems by Chris Abani, Rita Dove, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Ed Roberson, Aracelis Girmay, Yusef Komunyakaa, and more. With a powerful foreword by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott and stunning visual reproductions of select Bearden masterpieces, this anthology fuses art and literature, standing as a testament to Romare Bearden’s power and influence in the contemporary artistic world.

Order the book