Ghost Fishing: An Eco Justice Anthology Public Exhibition at Kimmel Window Galleries

Text says: We Belong to No Nation. One Day We Will Hold the Earth. Again As if she we a Love Nearly Lost , Her Rainy Hair Tangled in our Hands by Time Seibles

Kimmel Windows Galleries will display excerpts of the newly released anthology Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology alongside living plants native to Puerto Rico for 24-hour public viewing from September 10, 2018 through November 1, 2018.


The exhibition will take place at the corner of LaGuardia Place and West 3rd Street. Artwork by Ellen Driscoll, cover image for "Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology"; photo by George Hirose

An opening reception will be held Monday, September 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., featuring readings and a blessing of the plants and poems by Shinnecock Nation elder Denise Silva-Dennis.

Ghost Fishing features the work of many prominent poets including Pulitzer Prize winners Yusef Komunyakaa and NYU alumnus Gregory Pardlo and associate arts professor and chair of the Department of Art & Public Policy at NYU Tisch, Kathy Engel. Komunyakaa, Engel, and nine other poets will be represented in the windows gallery.

“Poets in this collection ask us to rethink maps, topography, history, news, language, metaphor, economics, social relations, and culture. They ask also that we rethink the way we communicate with one another, even within activist movements,” Melissa Tuckey, poet and editor of Ghost Fishing, wrote in the introduction.

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with student, community, and activist groups in New York addressing eco-justice as it relates to the Puerto Rican diaspora in the aftermath of hurricanes Sandy and Maria. Martin Medina, founder of Why Not Care, and LES United Festival, is creating a special visual work in conversation with LeConte Dill's poem, “We Who Weave.”

Students and organizations will participate in the exhibit by adopting windows and tending to the living plants in the windows. The choice to replant native Puerto Rican plants in garden boxes recognizes environmental and climate injustices experienced by the Puerto Rican community in New York City.

“These plants have a story to tell about eco-justice, environmental justice, or climate justice,” says artist, project collaborator Mark Read, an adjunct professor at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. “The plants are collaborating with the poems and the people in these installations.”

Project collaborators will also participate in a range of activities, including poetry workshops and writing their own poems.

“Words, poetry, and art in all its various forms possess the power to affect positive change for environmental and social justice issues. The poems and installations that comprise Ghost Fishing provide a beautiful opportunity for the community to be inspired to act,” said Kimmel Windows curator Pamela Jean Tinnen.

The installation reflects a collaboration between Engel, Tuckey (who also co-founded the activist poetry festival Split This Rock), Read, and Tinnen. Support for this project has come from the Tisch School of the Arts Institute of Performing Arts, the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research, and the Global Research Initiatives of the Office of the Provost at NYU.

The exhibition will run through November 1, is visible 24 hours a day, and is free and open to the public.

There will be two public events coinciding with the exhibition:

Unveiling and Inaugural Reading:
Monday, September 10, 2018
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Corner of LaGuardia & West 3rd Street

The opening reception will feature a blessing of the plants and the poems offered by Shinnecock Nation elder Denise Silva-Dennis followed by readings from several poets including LeConte Dill, associate professor and Director of Public Health for the College of Global Public Health.

Closing Reception:
Thursday, November 1, 2018
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
NYU Torch Club, 18 Waverly Place, New York, NY 1003

The Writing Program at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study will host a closing reading with poets from the anthology and students who have written work in conversation with the exhibition.

This project is co-sponsored by the Art, Education & Community Practice Program, Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

About the Kimmel Galleries: 
Established in 2003, Kimmel Galleries are dedicated to providing visually dynamic and thought-provoking exhibitions. They are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the curator, Pamela Jean Tinnen, at 347.634.2938, or