BYU Museum of Art hosts poetry jam

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BYU students visited the Museum of Art to explore the exhibition “Maynard Dixon: Searching for a New Home.”

Maya Criser, a winner from this year’s poetry jam, said, “Seeing this painting that Maynard Dixon had painted many years ago, the stars are still the same.”

This exhibition, which was put up at the end of October, inspired these students to write poems reacting to Dixon’s artwork.

Criser said, “I think it’s important to recognize who we are and where we come from. I feel Like Maynard Dixon did a great job of documenting his journey throughout that identifying experience.”

Criser chose to base her poem off of a painting from Dixon’s collection.

“This particular painting, Night Ride, spoke out to me,” Criser said, “because I love the stars, I love astronomy.”

Criser drew upon nature, her own personal experience, and the works of Ralph Waldo Emmerson for inspiration for her poem entitled, The Summer Triangle.

“I would say that nature is a theme in my poem.” Criser said. “I modeled my work after Emerson’s, it’s a shadow of his. It’s not at all like his, but I aspire to write the way he does.”

The Poetry Jam was last held in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down for the next three years. Now, in 2023, the event has returned to continue the cycle of inspiration once again.

Criser said, “I do hope that my work can elicit the same love for the stars and for astronomy and discovering who you are in the context of who you are in this whole amazing big beautiful earth.”

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