10 Artists After Paul Klee at the Phillips Collection: Sherwin Bitsui and Paisley Rekdal (2018)

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, co-sponsored with The Phillips Collection, presented 10 Artists After Paul Klee at the Phillips Collection: Sherwin Bitsui and Paisley Rekdal on March 22, 2018 at 6:30pm at the Phillips Collection. This reading was in response to the exhibition Ten Americans: After Paul Klee. This exhibition explored the seminal role of Swiss-born artist Paul Klee (1879–1940) in the development of mid-20th-century American art, it featured work by Klee in dialogue with ten American artists including Adolph Gottlieb, Norman Lewis, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, and Jackson Pollock.

Sherwin Bitsui

Sherwin Bitsui.

Sherwin Bitsui is the author of two volumes, Flood Song and Shapeshift. Bitsui has been noted for his poetry that “returns things to their basic elements and voice in flowing language rife with illuminating images” (Library Journal). The recipient of a Whiting Award, an American Book Award, and the PEN Book Award, he is Diné (Navaho) of the Todí­ch’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizí­laaní­ (Many Goats Clan).

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal. Austen Diamond.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, a photo-text memoir, and four books of poetry including Animal Eye, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her newest book of poems is Imaginary Vessels, and a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam, is forthcoming. She is the current Poet Laureate of Utah.

Reviews and excerpts

From "Vessels"


could be so roughly

handled and yet feel

so little, your pity

turned into part of this

production: you

with your small,

four-chambered heart,

shyness, hungers, envy: what

could be so precious

you’d cleave

another to keep it

close? Imagine

the weeks it takes to wind

nacre over the red

seed placed at the other

heart’s mantle…

Excerpt from “Vessels” from Imaginary Vessels by Paisley Rekdal © 2016, published by Copper Canyon Press. Used with permission.