New Third Thursday Poetry Series begins Sept. 18 at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Published: September 15, 2014
Updated: October 02, 2014
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The Third Thursday Poetry Series will begin its 2014-2015 season at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Tom Crawford, an award-winning poet and author of six books of poetry will give a reading at the event, which will also feature jazz, food and art. Visitors will enjoy extended gallery hours and readings by selected poets every third Thursday of the eight-month series.

In addition, faculty designers from Auburn's College of Architecture, Design and Construction created eight broadsides that represent works by each of the poets participating in the series. "In England during the 16th through 19th centuries, broadsides were an inexpensive means for disseminating information about politics, religion, current events, or circulating songs and ballads," said Scott Bishop, curator of education at the museum. "Broadsides were printed on one side, as they were intended to be posted publically. With the advances in printing and digital technologies, relief printing has experienced a revival. Small presses offer broadsides as fine art objects." The faculty broadsides will go on view at the first fall reading on Sept. 18.

According to Auburn resident Ken Autrey, who coordinates the poetry series with Keetje Kuipers, an assistant professor in the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts, the series is the only monthly poetry offering in the Auburn-Opelika area. "Strong attendance at the readings demonstrates that there is a loyal local audience for poetry," he said. "Our cooperative arrangement with the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art affirms the general vitality and importance of the arts in our community – visual, musical, and literary. The mix of programming at the university art museum suggests that the various arts can not only coexist but can enrich one another."

Robert Finkel, an assistant professor in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design, not only designed some of the broadsides in consultation with the poets, he also hand-produced a limited edition of 75 of each of the eight broadsides using letterpress printing. "I read the poems and free associated ideas for visuals, colors and typefaces based on my interpretation of tone and intent and shared with the poets."

"I enjoy letterpress printing because it provides me an opportunity to slow down my design process and really consider not just the layout, but also the production of my work," said Finkel. "Letterpress printing also provides me with a connection to the history of graphic design when every aspect of a project was a true manual craft."

A limited number of sets of the eight broadsides are for sale online for $50 at Individual prints are $7 and sold exclusively at the Museum Shop. All proceeds will support the broadside project.

To inquire about availability or place an order for prints, contact Christine Meir, gift shop manager, at (334) 844-3096. For a full poetry series schedule, go to the programs page at or call (334) 844-1484. Admission is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners.

"The Third Thursday Poetry Series" is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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