Pieces Of Poetry: Artwork Honoring Literary Icons Coming To Fort Greene Park

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FORT GREENE – A new public artwork honoring three literary greats will be installed in Fort Greene Park next month.

Elizabeth Masella, Public Art Coordinator for NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, presented plans for Pieces of Poetry Monday evening during the Brooklyn Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting. The temporary art installation—a mosaic assembled with hundreds of glass shards collected from the park—will pay tribute to Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass), Richard Wright (Native Son, Black Boy), and Marianne Moore (O, to Be a Dragon), “all writers who have strong connections to the Fort Greene communities and also specifically the park,” Masella said.

The work is similar to Amanda Patenaude’s One Map of Many Moments which was exhibited in Fort Greene Park from 2017-2018. The upcoming piece will be created by Brooklyn-based artist Courtney McCloskey in collaboration with local school students who are drawing designs onto the mosaic pieces. The students attend The Clinton Hill School (P.S. 20); Greene Hill School; Science, Language & Arts International School; and Brooklyn Tech High School.

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The design will feature books lined up on bookshelves displaying the titles of the best-known works penned by the three honored writers. The glass tiles will be interspersed throughout the approximately 8′ x 6′ piece.

McCloskey’s work will be mounted in mid-April within an existing plinth on the southwest wing of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument plaza, near Fort Greene Park’s Visitors’ Center. It will be on display for one year.

Pieces of Poetry will also commemorate the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth (born May 31, 1819). The Fort Greene Park Conservancy will host a variety of events to celebrate the “Whitman Bicentennial.”

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