W.S. Merwin show debuts in Chicago
The new American Writers Museum in Chicago opened its doors Tuesday with “Palm: All Awake in the Darkness,” an art installation about the garden and poetry of Maui resident W.S. Merwin. Designed by Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris, the exhibit includes living palms, a video and sound design featuring poetry by Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ezra Pound and others, and a traditional Hawaiian chant recited by Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele. Viewers enter through a model of the shade house in which Merwin and wife Paula cultivated palms for the garden they began more than 30 years ago. Merwin composts letters from his readers, using them to enrich the soil, and “Palm” visitors can write notes to be planted in Merwin’s garden in Haiku.
“Palm” runs through September at 180 N. Michigan Ave. For more information, visit americanwritersmuseum.org.