Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Mutanabbi1Last week I had the privilege along with Rochelle Monner, MalPina Chan and Deborah Commodore (all members of the Puget Sound Book Artists organization) to unpack and set-up the Al-Mutanabbi Starts Here book exhibit.  This is a remarkable show of over 52 books from the collection of over 200 books that are part of the Al-Mutanabbi Inventory project.  This project was started by poet and artist, Beau Beausoleil as a response to a bombing that took place March 5, 2007 in Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad.Mutanabbi2

Al-Mutanabbi Street is in a mixed Shia-Sunni area. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, holds bookstores and outdoor bookstalls, cafes, stationery shops, and even tea and tobacco shops. It has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community. An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street represents over 200 handmade books made by artists and poets in response to the bombing.

-Jane Carlin, Library Director
-Photo credit:  MalPina Chan

Read more about the project and the exhibit: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Mark your calendar for these two important events:

  • October 10, 2013
    4-5 p.m. Open Archives area – 2nd Floor, Collins Memorial Library
    Carletta Carrington Wilson: Carletta is a local Seattle artist whose work expresses themes of social justice.  Carletta will discuss her work book of the bound., a series of mixed-media collage objects that layer  symbols of language, silence, bodies, and bondage to honor the unheard voices of the enslaved.
  • October 16, 2013
    7 – 8 p.m. Open Archives area – 2nd Floor, Collins Memorial Library
    Beau Beausoleil:  The creator of the Al-Mutanabbi exhibit, Beau is also the editor of an anthology of poetry:  Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here:  Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, 2007 Bombing of Baghdad’s “Street of Bookseller.”  Beau will read from his anthology as well as discuss the exhibit
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