At the invitation of the Detroit Institute of Arts, InsideOut Literary Arts students and writers held a showcase entitled “See What I Say,” to help illustrate the power of self-expression and creativity through the arts. The students wrote poems in response to the DIA’s provocative “30 Americans” exhibit, a collection of works that examined issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture through the paintings, installations and photographs of some of the most important African American artists from the last 20 years. The students worked with writers to identify themes in the works of artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley and Carrie Mae Weems as their inspiration for poetry.

iO donors and friends were treated to the fruit of students’ work during an evening in the DIA’s iconic Rivera Court. iO also unveiled Techno Poetics, another collaboration pairing poetry and the history of Techno music. To learn more about that project click here.

If you’re an organization curious about collaborating with our poets, we’d love to explore the possibilities. Let’s talk! Contact us at info[at]insideoutdetroit.org

Photography by Erin Kirkland