As part of “Public Writing, Public Libraries,” a project of Grin City Collective Artist & Writers Residency, poetry written by Purvi Shah will be installed in vinyl film directly onto Burling Library’s front windows on May 11. The winner of the SONY South Asian Social Service Excellence Award, Purvi is a poet and essayist from Brooklyn, NY and is one of the four writers—Pauliina Haasjoki (Helsinki, Finland), Kevin Haworth (Athens, OH), and Molly Rideout (Grinnell, IA)—who are attending Grin City Collective Artist & Writers Residency. Their brand-new public art—works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry—will be installed in the windows of 12 Iowa libraries, including Burling Library. Other participating libraries include Knoxville, Pella, Newton, Marshalltown, Tama, Toledo, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Coralville, Cedar Rapids Public Libraries, and North Liberty Community Library.
Purvi will meet with Grinnell faculty, staff, and students before composing poems for Grinnell College so her poetry can speak directly to the campus community. “I value creativity through engagement, and poetry's accessibility is very important to me as someone who immigrated to America from India as a child,” Purvi says.
After the installation is completed, Purvi will read from her work and talk about her career and writing process at 9 p.m. on Monday, May 11. This event will be the first night of the Libraries’ two-day study breaks, and homemade cookies and milk—a study break tradition—will be served.
“Public Writing, Public Libraries” is made possible thanks to the generous support of Grinnell College’s Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement, Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, ACT Inc., Vermeer Corporation, Friends of the Cedar Falls Public Library, Friends of the Waterloo Public Library, Friends of the Newton Public Library, The Arts Connection Inc. and Coralville Public Library. Design and printing costs for the final publication are sponsored by Grinnell College.
To learn more or to support this project, please visit http://www.grincitycollective.org.