another poetry walk

November 20, 2015

Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge

The sculptor Siah Armajani creates architectural works that often incorporate poetry and other language. His public art projects include many shared spaces such as gardens, reading rooms and parks. Armajani explains, “I am interested in the nobility of usefulness. My intention is to build open, available, useful, common, public gathering places. Gathering places that are neighborly.”

In Minneapolis, where the artist is based, the Armajani-designed Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge is a 379-foot pedestrian walkway that connects the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Loring Park. Passing over 16 lanes of roadway and traffic, the bridge displays, on its upper rail, a poem by John Ashbery commissioned for the project.

You can read the text of the untitled poem and see additional photos on the John Ashbery Poetry Tumblr. You can also hear the poet introducing and reading the poem, which begins, “And now I cannot remember how I would have had it,” at the 92nd Street Y on November 11, 1989, on PennSound.

Note: although the Sculpture Garden is undergoing a massive renovation and many of its landmark artworks are temporarily stored or moved to other locations, the Bridge and the Walker Art Center will remain open during construction. The Garden’s re-opening is expected in summer 2017.
. . . . .
photo by Jen-Kuang Chang

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