Visual artists respond to the Argentine poet at Point of Contact

National Poetry month in Syracuse celebrates Argentine poet, Alejandra Pizarnik.

Dance, soul.

You have been born.

Alejandra Pizarnik

The late Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik (April 29, 1936 -- Sept. 25, 1972) has been likened to America's Sylvia Plath (Oct. 27, 1932 -- Feb.11, 1963). They were from the same generation, used writing as a coping mechanism, took their own lives, yet their voices were dissimilar, making each stand alone.

Syracuse poet, Susan Shane said, "Plath's work had an earthiness, where as Pizarnik's was wind and sky."

Shane was one of a panel of five female artists and scholars assembled at Point of Contact's (POC) gallery the evening of March 29 to discuss Alejandra Pizarnik in accordance with the work of eight visual artists inspired by Pizarnik on display at POC.

The panel

POC's managing director Tere Paniagua introduced Anja Chavez, (the Warehouse Gallery curator) as the moderator. She in turn introduced the panel: Kathryn Everly (associate professor of the department of languages, literatures and linguistics at Syracuse University); Colleen Kattau (associate professor of Latin American Literature at SUNY Cortland); Lourdes Rojas-Paiewonsky (professor of romance languages and literatures at Colgate University); Suzanne Shane (Poet and essayist); and Mary Giehl (Visual artist, adjunct professor in the school of art and design, fiber and textile arts at SU).

The exhibit is titled, Alejandra

Artists familiar, and also new to the poet's words, took inspiration from her many writings. The POC gallery is in itself an intimate space behind a simple storefront on East Genesee Street, just east of Syracuse Stage. Its mission is a bilingual (Spanish and English) exploration of visual and verbal ideas with ties to Latin America having at its inception a book series that originated at New York University and has been supported by Syracuse University for over 30 years. SU professor Pedro Cuperman is the founder and editor of the publication, and also the director and curator of the gallery. Consider POC as an international highly evolved counterpart to Central New York's Stone Canoe.

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