A diverse collective of New York based writers and language arts educators, Poets in Unexpected Places (PUP) moves storytelling into unconventional spaces by staging multidisciplinary performances, featuring accomplished poets, artists, dancers, and musicians from varied backgrounds and aesthetics. Using the element of surprise, PUP seeks to disrupt the frames that confine literature to the classroom and other traditional realms, and utilize poetry as a means to curate shared experiences between strangers, thus promoting community and dialogue in the public arena.
PUP has developed partnerships with Urban Word NYC and the Juilliard School to execute curriculum around creative writing, performance, and public art. In fact, the group frequently collaborates with universities, museums, businesses, and international arts organizations to present “Pop Up” installations for unsuspecting audiences across Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean.
PUP curators –Samantha Thornhill, Jon Sands, Adam Falkner, Syreeta McFadden, and Elana Bell– are Brooklyn-based artists and educators with advanced degrees from Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Virginia. They have received awards, fellowships, and residencies from The Academy of American Poets, The Jerome Foundation, Funds for Teachers, and Hedgebrook. PUP curators have exhibited their works in a range of venues, including the Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg, HBO, and the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
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