Learning to Love the Literati

Poetry Reading and Reception

Famously fabulous parties among noted writers and scholars have included Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, Jay Gatsby’s fictional lawn party, and the celebrated literary gathering at Lanting (Orchid Pavilion) in China in the year 353 CE, where the elite participated in a game that incorporated a poetry competition. Rice-wine cups were floated down a small winding creek as the poet-scholars sat along its banks; whenever a cup stopped, the man closest to the cup was required to empty it and write a poem. 

This same idea of a gathering of poets is being translated into the 21st century at SBMA, when 41 local poets who contributed to "To Give Life A Shape: Poems Inspired by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art" read their works while inspirational images are projected as backdrops.

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