On August 20, 2017, the spoken word poet Stanley Spencer narrated his verse while standing next to my tea bowls nestled on the forest floor at The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts. Stan was invited to create a work of art out of one of the SculptureNow pieces installed at the historic site. I’m honored that he chose mine.
Stan Spencer is a retired school administrator. He is a frequent participant in the Word by Word Festival based out of Pittsfield, MA, and has qualified annually in their story and poetry slam finals. He has been fortunate enough to have performed in bookstores, pubs, galleries, art centers, museums, and of course, a barber shop. Part of the process that his poetry deserves is that it should be read aloud. Several times. Speak it aloud as if you were preparing to read in front of a noisy group with their arms folded, just daring you to read poetry to them. Play with the timing. Don’t rush it. Get the arms going. Have fun. The poem will let you know when you get it right. Stan lives in Lenox, MA with his wife Jan, who is his editor, mentor, censor, and interpretive coach. She does not take criticism of his work lightly.
My Yellow Bowl Project hopes to spur discussion around these questions: Who is an American? What does citizenship mean? How long do you have to be in the US to be considered a bonafide member of this group?