An engaged and passionate group of artists came together on Thursday night at the Smack Mellon art gallery and studio space in DUMBO, Brooklyn (not to confused with the Disney film of the same name). Each poet contributed works inspired by and revolving around the recent killings of unarmed human beings by police in Ferguson, New York, and many other places around the nation.
“Don’t Shoot” on February 5th featured readings by bilingual writer Yuko Otomo, spoken word storyteller Visual Poetics, Steve Dalachinsky, the visual and literary lyricist Anomalous Who, poet and host of the upcoming Words Sunday readings in Bed-Stuy, Patricia Spears Jones, Joyce LeeAnn, Vice news contributor Peter Rugh, and writer Bob McNeil accompanied by the percussionist Fred Simpson.
The powerful strands of grief, frustration and resilience within these poems were amplified by the beautiful wall art in Smack Mellon. Hangings and installations included everything from traditional watercolor paintings to audio recordings to sculpture.