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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Four Chambers Presents Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum Saturday April 4th

Phoenix, AZ (March 7th, 2015)… Four Chambers—an independent community press based in Phoenix, AZ—will be staging a live performance of their latest release, Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum, as a walking tour through the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Saturday, April 4th at 2:30 pm.

Interested parties should meet in the Greenbaum Lobby at the main entrance of the Phoenix Art Museum at 2:30 pm. The event is free with Museum membership or general admission. Excerpts and order forms are available online at http://fourchamberspress.com/phxart.

Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum features 26 poems and 4 prose works from 30 authors (86% local) reinterpreting and responding to various works throughout the Phoenix Art Museum’s collection (including such prominent exhibits as Yayoi Kusama’s Firefly Room, Deborah Butterfield’s Ponder, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Untitled (Rossmore II), and multiple works by Philip C Curtis). The tour will pair each author with the piece that inspired them for a live reading.

Four Chambers was founded in June 2013 with the mission of giving greater visibility to the literary arts and encouraging their larger participation in the cultural scene. So to give local authors a platform, the organization began printing an annual journal (in addition to sponsoring other events and activities). Recently, though, the magazine has been looking to take a more collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to its programming, especially as it relates to public art.

We’re not sure when the idea gelled, exactly” explains Jake Friedman, the magazine’s Founder and Editor in Chief. “But at some point, as we were visiting the Phoenix Art Museum as regular museum-goers, we realized that a lot us of were writing poems or short stories about the work that we saw there. And given how strongly we were responding as individuals, we figured a project like this would present a good opportunity to put a call out, get structured, and see what we could do together, as a community.”

After all, Phoenix is a big city. “And while it’s well-known for the visual arts and possessing of a strong local music scene,” observes Four Chambers Director of Events and Programming Jared Duran, “Phoenix has yet to establish itself as a strong, substantial literary presence—which is important for any city that seeks to be culturally significant. This high-profile collaboration with the Phoenix Art Museum is a significant step in achieving that goal outside of the traditionally exclusive academic setting.”

Often times, literature can exist independently of the public sphere—in private spaces, at readings, in books or at home. If literature is going to connect with people and have an impact in their lives, argues ASU English Lecturer Rosemarie Dombrowski, “It has to get off the page and into the community, into the spaces inhabited by ‘non-poets.’ The Phoenix Art Museum project provides poets with that very opportunity—to insert themselves (and their work) into a larger artistic dialogue, to bring poetry to a broader audience—in addition to enriching the arts community through collaboration.”

Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum is for the Phoenix Art Museum. As such, it is not only intended to resonate with people’s experiences at the Phoenix Art Museum but to enhance and deepen their appreciation of the artwork as well.

It’s this kind of thoughtful, creative engagement, explains Phoenix Art Museum Director of Education Kathryn Blake, “that keeps the museum vital and relevant for our community. Art museums can fulfill so many needs in people’s lives; I believe one of our roles is to spark imagination and serve as a point of inspiration. Responding to artworks or spaces in the museum brings fresh insights and perspectives for all of us to ponder and enjoy.”

At the same time, Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum is meant to be able to stand alone, independently of the works that inspired it. As local poet Jia Oak Baker elaborates, leading with a quote from poet Reginald Shepard, “’Poems are or should be experiences in themselves and not just accounts of or commentaries on experience; they should be additions to the world, not simply annotations to it.’ I wrote ‘You Who Are Getting Obliterated by the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies’ the night I saw Kusama’s installation for the very first time at the Phoenix Art Museum. I tried to capture the feeling and the movement I experienced. And whether I was successful or not, I tried to create an ‘addition’ to the world versus just describing the art.”

At the end of the day, Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum is simply about providing people with opportunities to have meaningful experiences and feel like they are part of something larger than themselves.

Contributor Alicia Brall is a case in point. After seeing a friend post the call for submissions on Facebook, Alicia decided to take her kids to the Phoenix Art Museum and see what happened. “I figured if something struck me, I’d write. And if not, no big deal.”

She continues. “I ended up submitting because a lot of things struck me while I was there—sentiments and questions that wanted a breath of life. I submitted because it was local and a specific project and the call for submissions seemed less intimidating this way. I submitted because I wanted to be a part of something again. That’s why it was such a great thing for me. I’m home with my kids all day—and I love my kids and I love that they’re my work and my purpose and my everything right now. But it’s been years and years since I was a part of something like this—voices collected to sing out to the community–and about such beautiful things. It was so great to be included with this group of writers and to be able to identify with a wonderful body of people based on this love we have, this bug, this thing buried in me under dust and diapers and dog hair and all the things that cloud my view sometimes. And that’s not unlike how it’s a good thing for the city… It’s sending out a pulse. It’s saying ‘Wake up. Get out. Look. Sing. Write. Plant. Remember. Discover.’”

People move to cities because, among other things, they want to experience arts and culture; because, in certain respects, arts and culture are what make life worth living. “My hubby and I moved to the Midtown area because we wanted to be closer to everything that’s happening along the Central corridor,” explains Phoenix resident and local author Katie Hae Leo. “First Fridays, the museum district, the light rail, the local restaurants and Four Chambers Press are all contributing to make Phoenix the kind of vibrant and creative city that we’d want to live in.”

All of these things being said, Four Chambers is ultimately concerned with giving people something to believe in and, in some small way, improving their lives. Rebecca Wise-Eklund echoes the sense of belonging and identity she gained from participating in the project: “On the night of the reading at the Phoenix Art Museum, I met Jake, who then introduced me to another Four Chambers staff member, ‘She’s also a fan of yours.’ Suddenly I didn’t feel so untitled myself. I have fans? Of my work? Once again I found myself greeted. I found myself welcomed. To Four Chambers Press and the Phoenix Art Museum, I am grateful, for helping an untitled piece of art and an untitled human find a place among the rest.”

Four Chambers is not simply publishing work. It’s publishing work to build community.

About Four Chambers Press Local-National

Four Chambers Press is an independent community press based in Phoenix, AZ whose mission is to give greater visibility to the literary arts and encourage their larger participation in the cultural scene. For more information please visit http://fourchamberspress.com.

 

Click here to download a copy of the press release

Hope to see you there!

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FOUR CHAMBERS PRESENTS POETRY AND PROSE FOR THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM (AGAIN!)

On First Friday, March 6th, Four Chambers staged a live performance / walking tour of their latest release at the Phoenix Art Museum, Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum (to much applause). And given how much fun it was, we’re doing it again!

 

FOUR CHAMBERS PRESENTS: POETRY AND PROSE FOR THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM

TIME: Saturday, April 4th at 2:30 pm

LOCATION: Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85004)

COST: Free with Museum membership or general admission!

Please meet in the Greenbaum Lobby.

PERFORMANCES BY:

Paula Ashley / Sue Hyon Bae / Carlyon Blackman / Savannah Blitch / Julie E. Bloemeke / Alicia Brall / Mackenzie Brennan / Aaron Deck / Dana Diehl / Rosemarie Dombrowski / Jared Duran / Jack Evans / Keith Francese / Holly Hendin / Allegra Hyde / Pinna Joseph / Collin Kelley / Katie Hae Leo / Kimberly Mathes / Ashley Naftule / Heather Nagami / Kelly Nelson / Jia Oak Baker / Shawnte Orion / Derik Roof / Michelle Salcido / Eric Shepard / Garrett Smith / Joanna Thomas / Rebecca Wise-Eklund

RESPONDING TO:

Deborah Butterfield / Elena Climent / Philip C. Curtis / James G. Davis / Tacita Dean / Jay Dusard / Lorser Feitelson / Helen Frankenthaler / Jean-Leon Gerome / Felix Gonzalez-Torres / Joe Jones / Brad Kahlhamer / Yayoi Kusama / Stanton Macdonald-Wright / Chris McCaw / Jose Chavez Morado / Louise Nevelson / Pablo Picasso / Bridget Riley / Daniela Rossell / Miklos Suba / George Tice / Edouard Vuillard

TOPICS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

Being an unfinished Madonna (religious idol, not pop star); Seeing your loved ones consumed by disease like so many children eating small pieces of candy; St. Anthony of Padua; Buddha; Being metaphorically consumed in a dancing swarm of fireflies; Being metaphorically chased by literal ghosts; Being a ghost; Being rich and bored; Being a horse; Womanhood; Capitalism; Taxidermy; Being the only animate person at a party full of sculptures; How a painting by Pablo Picasso probably makes a better lover than a painting by Stanton Macdonald Wright; and many more!

Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum contains 26 poems and 4 prose works by 30 authors (86% of whom live or work in Arizona).

For more information, please visit our website http://fourchamberspress.com/phxart or the facebook event. You can also order one here!

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FOUR CHAMBERS PRESENTS POETRY AND PROSE FOR THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM!

Four Chambers loves literature. Four Chambers also loves art. So, several months ago, we asked authors to visit the Phoenix Art Museum, wander around, and see if they couldn’t write something about a piece of art in the museum.

PRE-ORDER FOR $10!

178 submissions from 98 authors later, we are proud to announce that Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum is now available for pre-order through Friday 3/6 at the very reasonable price of $10 (after which time it will be raised to the slightly less but still very reasonable price of $12)!

 

WALKING TOURS AND LIVE PERFORMANCES 3/6!

To celebrate the release of this project, we’ll be staging live performances / walking tours through the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85004 ) on First Friday, March 6th.

To join us, please meet in the Greenbaum Lobby at 6:30 and 7:45 pm.

On the first tour, we’ll be reading from the modern, contemporary, and photographic collections; on the second, European, American, and Asian (with prior exhibitions).

 

TOPICS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

Being an unfinished Madonna (religious idol, not pop star); Seeing your loved ones consumed by disease like so many children eating small pieces of candy; St. Anthony of Padua; Buddha; Being metaphorically consumed in a dancing swarm of fireflies; Being metaphorically chased by literal ghosts; Being a ghost; Being rich and bored; Being a horse; Womanhood; Capitalism; Taxidermy; Being the only animate person at a party full of sculptures; How a painting by Pablo Picasso probably makes a better lover than a painting by Stanton Macdonald Wright; and many more!

Sample work will be released here over the next few weeks.

 

WE’RE SERIOUS ABOUT THE PRE-ORDER

Measuring 5.5 x 8.5″ and 68 pages long, printed on fancy natural papers with linen and vellum finish, featuring some 27 poems and 3 prose works from 30 authors (nearly 90% local) in a limited edition print run of 200 copies, we suggest that any interested parties order one today.

 

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WE GOT REVIEW REVIEWED + RD IS KILLING IT!

Four Chambers’ preeminent editor Rosemarie Dombrowski wrote a beautiful and poignant essay entitled, “Academia vs. Poetry: How the Gatekeepers of Contemporary Literature might be Killing It” that was published at the Review Review today (and speaks to a lot of what we’re trying to do here at Four Chambers–and is probably why, of course, we get along with her so well). You can read it here.

In other / similar news: we got reviewed! Read it here. Eternal gratitude + appreciation to Laurence Levey and all the staff at the Review Review for their generous praise and constructive criticism, we look forward to more copy editing / raising those stars for issue 03!

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FOUR CHAMBERS SEEKS POETRY AND PROSE FOR THE PHOENIX ART MUSEUM

PRESS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

For more information, contact:

Jake Friedman

Founder and Editor in Chief

fourchamberspress@gmail.com

240-593-1757

Call for Submissions

Four Chambers Seeks Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix, AZ (December 23rd, 2014)… Four Chambers—what people may or may not know is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, Arizona, also a figurative heart—is looking for local authors to write work in response to exhibitions and collections housed in the Phoenix Art Museum so they can put together a boutique chapbook and stage a live performance in the gallery during Art Detour on First Friday, March 6th (submissions for which close Sunday, February 1st 2015).

Art Loves Literature

Sometimes–in all the hubbub of giving greater visibility to the literary arts and encouraging their larger participation in the cultural scene–people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art as much as they’d like to. To stop for a moment. Breathe. Smell the roses. The important things in life get missed.

So when things come up and literature doesn’t get to spend as much time with art as it would like to, art can get a little sad.

I mean, I know literature’s been working really hard to create another space in this city where people can come together, have meaningful interactions and build sustainable forms of community and relationship—we’re all so busy trying to do our own thing—it’s just that, well,” art pauses, looks off into the distance and then down. “We just used to have so much fun together. Literature really understood me.” Art sniffs, quavers, and looks up with sad, shining eyes. “I just miss it.”

What happened? Art and literature made each other so happy. They had such a long history. And now, art is completely heartbroken, literature is lonelier than ever, it has no idea what happened, and it has no idea what to do.

Literature Loves Art

So literature called Four Chambers. And after much heartfelt discussion—tears streaming down literature’s face, Four Chambers nodding empathetically on the other line—Four Chambers thinks the best thing literature can do is to ask local authors to go to the Phoenix Art Museum, walk through the galleries, and write something responding to the Museum’s collection of work.

This, the magazine thinks, is the way to win back art’s heart, and will show art that literature cares more than a vintage crockpot from the 1970s or a small yellow cactus in a concrete pot ever could (though both of these would make really great gifts). Then art will understand that literature is truly sorry for whatever it did wrong, people in Phoenix will have a greater sense of cultural cohesiveness and shared identity, and art and literature can continue building the long-lasting relationship they already have.

 Four Chambers Loves You

So all silliness aside,” explains the magazine’s Founder and Editor in Chief Jake Friedman, standing in front of the Art Museum dressed as a baby cupid, “If all we do is help people fall in love with art and / or literature,” adjusting his cloth diaper, shifting the bow and arrow in his hand, “if people can have a slightly more meaningful experience in their life because of this project,” a cold wind causes Friedman to shiver, a wing falling off. “Well…” Friedman shrugs. “That would be a beautiful thing.”

Individuals who are interested in submitting poetry and prose for the Phoenix Art Museum can find more details online at http://fourchamberspress.com/chapbooks/phxart.

Individuals who are interested in visiting the museum may do so for free every Wednesday evening from 3 to 10 pm or every First Friday night from 6 to 10 pm, and any other time, the Museum is open for a modest and reasonable fee. Four Chambers will also be organizing a tour at the Museum Wednesday January 7th at 6:30 pm. Selected works are available online at http://egallery.phxart.org/.

Four Chambers will also be holding a workshop for the project at Rollover Coffee and Doughnuts (10 W Vernon St, Phoenix AZ 85003) on Saturday January 17th, 1 to 4 pm)

Submissions for the project close Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 11:59 PM MST.

 

About Four Chambers Press Local-National

 

Four Chambers Press is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ that wants to expose you to wonderful literature + give you something to do every once in a while + make your life slightly more meaingful. For more information please visit http://fourchamberspress.com.

P. S. Here’s a flier

03 Call Phx Art