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At the October 24th opening reception for the new exhibit Romare Bearden: The Paper of Truth: Works from the Collection of Russell Goings and Evelyn Bouleware at the 92nd Street Y on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Poetry Center Director Kim Bridgford spoke along with poet Russell Goings, from whose private collection some of the items by the late Harlem artist Romare Bearden were made available for public viewing in this special exhibit.
The two have a bit of a history together, somewhat facilitated by Bearden’s legacy: Bridgford helped Goings, a former NFL player who was a close friend of Bearden’s, on Goings’ epic poem, The Children of the Children Keep Coming. Goings later participated in the 2011 “Odyssey” exhibit that was part of the 17th annual Poetry Conference, which featured Bearden’s interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey in 21 images, and four images from The Death Series: "Autumn I" and "Autumn II," "Carnival Dancer," and "Death and the Dancer," completed shortly before his death in 1988.
Now Bridgford, who has headed the Poetry Center at West Chester University since 2010, has forged a collaboration of The Bearden Foundation, The Schomburg Center, and the 92nd Street Y with the Poetry Center to present “A Writer’s Celebration of Romare Bearden” at the Milton J. Weill Art Gallery at 92nd Street Y, where she will again be joined by Goings along with writers Elizabeth Alexander, Stanley Crouch, Kwame Dawes, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and John Edgar Wideman, on Monday, December 3. The new exhibit can be seen there through December 9.