Poem for Slow Art Day

28, April 2014 § Leave a comment

slow art day

Aegean Center student and Slow Art Day participant Julia Robinson composed a poem about our experiences at the Paros Archeological Museum on April 12th. Julia has dedicated the poem to Jane Pack, our host.

Slow Art

Ten minutes
an eternity
before we calm,
seeing through
into the mystery
of the cracks
to the heart
that created
these wonders
millenniums ago;
hearts like our own.

Archilochos calls
up through time.
The bark of his dog
coming out of hiding
along with the silk
over his shield that
he didn’t bring home
nor brought him home.
A boy is found
carrying wine
the power of poetry
of the power of brawn.
How did we never see?

We turn to a disc thrower
his faint throw intensifying
the longer we give him;
our minds becoming
as his feet –
slowing unfolding
from their bonds
spiralling out freely
into the movement
of timelessness.

We read the headline
‘Lion eats bull!’
A stone slab
in transition of dying,
comes alive
under our gaze.
We water the
dead with our presence
the god power within.

Blown away by stones
their graceful humility
plunges us into awe.
Ohh face long past sculptured
I cannot see you
the Siroccos of time
have stolen your fierce lines
I feel only your soft beauty
snaking into a bird
as you dominate
the serpent hissing
around your belted waist.
You were petrifying once
your black make-up
but like Ozymandias
the sands of time
have robbed you of your power:
We have lost our fear.
Where can we place it now?

Overwhelmed we are
by so many ghosts
of people who lived here
– Right here –
on this island
we now call our own.

Calming down
we ground in a funeral:
sling shots bearers
never had a chance against
the fighting arrows
walking through the battle.
We circle the urn
but stop dead at the figure
who rising
is depicted again
as they extract the spear
from his side;
ancient story board
animating his life
his death
telling of his tragedy.
Women, hands in terror,
look on aghast
pulling at their hair;
we feel it, and cannot move on.

Leaving a memoir of the past
the warrior remains inside
long gone;
we communicate with them
the dead
this arcane memory
worn thin through time
lives on all too faintly
as we gather around today
trying to grasp
what happened to you.
What happens to humanity.

Time moves on
we look at a head stone:
a man talking animatedly
as if this day would never end.
His last conversation
into eternity.
What is he saying?
To honour the dead?
Hubris of time;
we cannot read
only ‘have to’
name of the deceased
words for the dead.

Was his secret discerned
only by the patient woman?
come back to life
the longer we gaze,
the longer we allow ourselves
to deepen in something
impossible to describe.

And so we end
with a perfect bottom
hands brush
yearning still to touch
where the sculptor
left his love
bringing bliss
into stone.
Pulling ourselves together
we admire his stability
contrasting his
strong light lines
with her, behind
as if her dress
would flutter away.
We return,
revealingly quickly,
to the wondrous buttocks
almost embarrassed
at our joy
of this undefended captive.

Slow art,
no need to rush pleasure
feeling the love
of the sculptor
as our own
giving the inanimate
our imagination.

Collapsing time
we gaze ourselves
into these statues;
for they belong to us now
they are ours,
discovering them
quite honestly,
our own hearts.

–Julia Robinson



The Aegean Center Fall 2009 Reading

9, December 2009 § Leave a comment



(Autumn 2009)


Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.

Maia Bull
Stephanie Dissette
Evie Elman
Jessica Freedman
Julian Gilbert
Phoebe Guenzel
Chelsey Ternes
Emma Thorne
Carter Umhau

Creative Writing Director – Jeffrey Carson
Aegean Center Director – John Pack

Dessert at The Villa Rospigliosi

We waited for evenings that offered Roquefort
And when they came, we hoarded pears in our pockets
Until with table knife we could spread that tangy blue
Across the slippery slice of pear we had prepared
For this very moment: dessert at the villa.

–Carter Umhau

Toi Derricotte @ The Center – 6 Oct. 2009

8, October 2009 § Leave a comment

Toi Derricotte was born in Hamtramck, Michigan, in 1941. Her books of poetry are Tender (1997), winner of the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; Captivity (1989); Natural Birth (1983); and The Empress of the Death House (1978).  Her The Black Notebooks, a literary memoir  (W.W. Norton, 1997), won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her essay, “Beginning Dialogues,” is included in The Best American Essays 2006, edited by Lauren Slater. Of her poems, Audre Lourde wrote, “Because the power of her images breeds visions which are neither easy nor inescapable, Toi Dericotte moves us…The pain does not exceed the power.”
Her honors include the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; two Pushcart Prizes; the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists; the Alumni/Alumnae Award from New York University; the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, Inc.; the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council.

With Cornelius Eady, in 1996, she co-founded Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier “home for black poetry” – http://www.cavecanempoets.org/.  She is a Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Fall 2008 at the Aegean Center

8, October 2008 § Leave a comment

The Aegean Center is back on Paros and well into our first week of classes, having just returned from an exhilarating month in Italy. Curious about what we do there? Read Jeffrey Carson’s article in the September Paros Life. Pictured above is drawing and painting student Silina Pandelidou trying her hand at glass blowing at a workshop in Murano.

In other news, this semester’s digital photography students are the first to enjoy our brand new Piezography Lab. Set in a beautifully illuminated space just around the corner from our main building, the lab is equipped with state of the art systems for image processing and printing. Thanks to the generosity of Jon Cone, we are able to supply our students with the very best ink available for producing black and white images of the highest quality and permanence. For more information on Jon Cone and Piezography, click here.

Alicia Stallings will kick off our new season of visiting artists and lecturers with a poetry reading at the Aegean Center on Friday, October 10 at 7PM.

The Greater Journey

23, July 2008 § Leave a comment

13 September 2008
Canterbury, England

A collaboration between Poet, Peter Abbs and Artist, John Pack

Aegean Center director John Pack’s most recent exhibition will open at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, England as part of the multidisciplinary symposium “DIMENSIONS OF PILGRIMAGE: Journey, Meaning and Place” taking place at Canterbury Christ Church University. The exhibition will be in Canterbury for five weeks before touring.

The formal debut of the publication “The Greater Journey: a special artist edition” will take place the evening of the opening along with a reading by Peter Abbs of his poetry that is part of the publication.

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