NEXT UP: Detroit PoetryMusicArt Jam with M.L. Liebler, John Sims & Friends

As part of the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, the Irwin House Gallery presents a pre-launch poetry and music evening with award-winning Detroit poet, M.L. Liebler, celebrating the release of his newest book, RESPECT: THE POETRY OF DETROIT MUSIC (© 2019 Michigan State University Press).

This is a free event taking place on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 7-10pm.

Conceptual artist, writer and producer, John Sims – a contributor to the book – joins M.L. Liebler in sharing Detroit-themed poetry and rhythms from the book, with live music by The Coyote Monk Poetry Band.  Sims is the Irwin Gallery’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence, during which he is developing a multi-media oral history project, Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block. His accompanying video-poem, D-City Blues, is featured in the anthology and is also part of the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit. Surprise special guests and book contributors are expected to jump in on the evening.

RESPECT explores Detroit’s incredible musical history in a collection of poems and lyrics covering a broad variety of genres, and how Detroit artists have forged paths in music that continue to reverberate world-wide. While documenting and celebrating this part of Detroit’s history, this book captures the emotions that the music continues to inspire in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene—Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology, including such icons as Eminem, June Jordan, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Rita Dove, Jack White, Robbie Robertson, Paul Simon, Nikki Giovanni, and many more. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale.

The Irwin House Gallery was founded by Valerie D. Irwin and her late husband, Council Irwin, Jr. to engage the community through the arts and support local talent, while inviting the global art world to experience and contribute to the cultural wealth of Detroit. The gallery opened in 2018, amid construction, for the city’s first visual art exhibition celebrating The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, which opened September 28, 2019, explores the city’s past, present, and imaginable future through the lens of local and Detroit-inspired artists. “While our space and resources do not allow us to capture the full breadth and complexity of Detroit with this exhibit, each artist brings a bit of their story, their eye, and their experience to the story,” says the Irwin Gallery’s Director, Omo Misha. With this exhibit, the Irwin House also unveils new developments to its space and programming, including the completion of its main floor gallery, opening the 2nd level of the building, and its Artist-In-Residency (AIR) program.

The art exhibition features Brian Nickson, Damon Chamblis, Darin Darby, Dolores Slowinski, James Charles, Morris, Jeni Wheeler, Jon DeBoer, Kathleen Rashid, Lance Johnson, Melissa Vize, Robert W. Clark III and Waleed Johnson, along with John Sims, Artist-in-Residence. Exhibition runs through January 5, 2020.

The Detroit PoetryMusicArt Jam: Friday, November 8, 2019 from 7:00 – 10:00pm. RSVP: or General hours are Thurs-Sun 12-6pm. Open by appointment other times. Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery, 2351 W. Grand Blvd. (Between LaSalle & Linwood), Detroit, MI 48208. Ph: 313.932.7690 | IG: @irwinhousegallery | FB: /irwinhousegallery

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