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Friday Nights at NOMA: Lecture and Reading by Robin Coste Lewis

Fri, January 8th, 2016 at 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

This Friday night at NOMA, poet and National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis will present a lecture and reading in conjunction with NOMA’s exhibition Visions of US: American Art at NOMA. We’ve also got live music by The Mulligan Brothers, free art activities, and more. Join us!

  • 5-8 pm: Art on the Spot
  • 5:30-8:30 pm: Music by The Mulligan Brothers
  • 6:30 pm: Lecture and reading with Robin Coste Lewis: “Boarding the Voyage”

About “Boarding the Voyage”

National Book Award winning poet Robin Coste Lewis will discuss the surprising findings of her research regarding Western art’s use of the black female throughout history.  The lecture will be followed by a reading from Voyage of the Sable Venus, Lewis’s poetic meditation on the cultural depiction of the black female figure.  Juxtaposing autobiography with art-historical constructs of racial identity, Lewis’s lyric poems consider the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self. The title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” is a riveting narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. Bracketed by Lewis’s autobiographical poems, “Voyage” is a tender and shocking study of the fragmentary mysteries of stereotype. Offering a new understanding of biography and the self, Lewis’s thrilling aesthetic anthem to the complexity of race questions just where, historically, do ideas about the black female figure truly begin—five hundred years ago, five thousand, or even longer?

About Robin Coste Lewis

 Robin Coste Lewis is the author of Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015), which was just awarded a 2015 National Book Award. She is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California. Lewis is also a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her BA from Hampshire College, her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition: Women in Literary Arts, VIDA, Phantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.
 Robin Lewis
Photo by Dunya Alwan

About The Mulligan Brothers

The Mulligan Brothers are: Ross Newell (lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting); Gram Rea (fiddle, mandolin, viola, harmonica and vocals); Ben Leininger (bass and vocals) and Greg DeLuca (drums and vocals). Via Portland is the second album for the band from Mobile and Baton Rouge that met playing in bars in Mobile and took a name that means second chances. Expectations are high for the follow-up to The Mulligan Brothers, their popular debut album released in June 2013 that created passionate fans across the country and was in the Top Ten of CD Sales at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest.





Fri, January 8th, 2016
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Category:


New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA, 70119
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