— Summit Artspace will be filled with poetry and art from the worlds of science and medicine on Friday, May 20, when the public is invited to a reading by Ohio’s first Poet Laureate, Amit Majmudar, M.D.
A graduate of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), Dr. Majmudar will be joined by two NEOMED students who placed in the 2016 William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, a national contest now in its 34th year at the university. The readings will take place in conjunction with Summit Artspace’s FUSION Art Exhibit.
An intense backdrop for the poetry, FUSION brings together the work of local artists who embrace science as an inspiration for art–from the precision of medical illustrations to the awe-inspiring forms discovered through biomimicry.
“Summit Artspace is thrilled to be able to create this opportunity for area residents to hear the Poet Laureate. We are also equally excited to have the NEOMED students who have been nationally recognized. They all have strong ties to our area, which bonds us to their poetic voices. We appreciate the collaboration with NEOMED to make this possible,” said Joanne Green, Summit Artspace executive director.
The event begins with refreshments and an artist reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Summit Artspace Gallery. The readings will start at 6 p.m. and conclude with an informal Q&A session with the poets. All of the events and exhibits are free and open to the public.
Visitors will be able to see the FUSION exhibit and a selection of framed prize-winning poems from the 2016 William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition. The poems will be hung in the Transition Gallery with an exhibit of artist Eva Volf’s dramatic paintings incorporating the elemental nature of water.
A 2003 graduate of NEOMED, Dr. Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist who lives in Dublin, Ohio, with his wife and three children. He grew up in Cleveland and received a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Akron.
His latest volume is “Dothead,” published earlier this year by Alfred A. Knopf. His poetry and prose have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Best American Poetry (2007, 2012), The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-2012, Poetry, Poetry Daily and several other venues, including the 11th edition of The Norton Introduction to Literature.
Dr. Majmudar’s first poetry collection, “0º, 0º,” was a finalist for the 2009 Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. His second poetry collection, “Heaven and Earth,” won the 2011 Donald Justice Prize. Dr. Majmudar blogs for the Kenyon Review and is also a critically acclaimed novelist.
He was named to the two-year post of the Ohio Arts Council by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in December 2015. The Ohio Poet Laureate has the opportunity to foster the art of poetry, encourage literacy and learning, address central issues relating to the humanities and heritage and encourage the reading and writing of poetry across the state.
Along with celebrating Dr. Majmudar’s appointment, NEOMED is celebrating its first top winner in the 34-year history of the annual poetry competition. Ileana Horattas, a third-year medical student at NEOMED, tied for first place for her poem, “The Lilacs.” She shared first-place honors with Phoebe Prioleau, a third-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. Adding to the accolades, NEOMED student Reem Azem, a third-year medical student at NEOMED, achieved an honorable mention with her poem “Sweeter than a Watermelon.”
Ileana Horattas grew up in Akron and completed an undergraduate degree in natural sciences at the University of Akron before continuing her studies at NEOMED. Although she published her first poem at age 12 and participated in several writing competitions, she did not pursue writing during her high school or undergraduate years, focusing instead on a science-oriented education. In medical school, she rediscovered poetry as an unexpected and much-needed outlet for stress and self-expression.
Reem Azem is a third-year medical student at NEOMED who grew up in Cleveland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and chemistry as well as a master’s degree in medical physiology from Case Western Reserve University. Azem has always been passionate about literature, particularly the classics. She completed an undergraduate capstone in Shakespeare and film, and wrote for CWRU’s Observer for four years.
To learn more about the competition, contact Elaine Guregian, assistant director of the Office of Public Relations and Marketing, [email protected] or (330) 325-6675.