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16 Weeks, 17 Syllables

Axle Contemporary waxes poetic.

March 28, 2011, 10:00 am
By Tim Kraemer

Axle Contemporary's mobile art gallery is expanding into the fields of poetry and publishing, and everyone is invited to participate. AxleArt Haiku Roadside Project is a four-month poetry roadside exhibition that will travel throughout Santa Fe from early June through September. It's accepting haiku submissions right now.

According to Axle Contemporary co-founder and co-owner Matthew Chase-Daniel, the poetry exhibition grew out of discussions regarding what to do with an unused sign he noticed and then purchased on the way to his son's school.

"There's this old sign that was leaning against this garage in Pojoaque, and I was looking at it and thinking that I kind of liked it," Chase-Daniel says. "Then talking to Jerry Wellman, my partner, we came up with this. Partly because it's a small sign—you can only fit a few letters onto it—haiku seemed like the obvious first thing that popped into our minds."

Santa Fe Poet Laureate Joan Logghe curates AxleArt Haiku Roadside Project. She will select the 32 best haiku, submitted on Axle's website, to be displayed two at a time, one on each side of the sign, for 16 consecutive weeks.

Axle Contemporary's owners plan to move the sign to unexpected new roadside locations on a weekly basis as they swap haiku. They need funds to transport the sign. Chase-Daniel hopes to raise $2,000 through Axle's Kickstarter campaign before the exhibition begins in June.

Upon the end of the exhibition, Chase-Daniel hopes to publish a book containing photographs of the sign at its various locales and with its various poems.

"One page has the photo of the poem and the facing page will be just the poem's text," Chase-Daniel says. "Then an essay by Joan Logghe and maybe short poet bios at the back. That's our vision of it. We'll probably do a cheaper black-and-white version and a nice color version."

New Mexico poets young and old, amateur and experienced, and everything in between are invited to submit their haiku. The only limitations involve the haiku format and making sure it fits on the sign and is friendly to be seen by all in its public location.

"We can't have anything too pornographic," Chase-Daniel says.


Axle Contemporary
Moving location (check website)
670-7612

 

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