Friday’s monthly “Art on the Ridge” program at the Phinney Center features the first public reading of “The Lenin Poems.”
The idea was conceived by poet/artist A. K. “Mimi” Allin (aka The Poetess at Green Lake) as a way to find out what Fremont residents think of the giant Lenin statue in front of the Space Building.
There’s a statue of Vladimir Lenin outside of the Space Building in downtown Fremont where the artist has a studio. As do many Fremont residents, the artist passes the statue daily. She knows its history, where it was cut to be disassembled for transport, the name of its artist, buyer and seller. She knows its current cost. She even knows the dates it was made, discarded, re-found and shipped to the U.S. She knows that the bronze chunks behind Lenin are the flames of revolution and that the statue stands 16 feet tall while Vladimir himself stood 5.5 feet tall. But what the artist does not know is how the people of Fremont feel about this statue, and how Lenin feels about the people of Fremont, and what that might mean to the people who live here and visit. I asked the poets to begin to explain. And they have.
THE LENIN POEMS judges are happy to announce that we received over 50 beautiful Lenin poems – poems both small and light, large and serious, in English and Russian, in rhyming and free verse. We want to thank the poets of Fremont, and of the world, for taking on this challenge.
Update Friday: The reading of The Lenin Poems has been moved to the Lenin Statue in Fremont at 7 p.m. Friday.
Friday’s “Art on the Ridge” begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes live music, art and poetry. Judges A. K. Allin, Vanessa DeWolf & Gregory Crosby will take two months to consider a winner out of the 50 submissions. The winning poem will be cast in bronze and placed with the statue. A printed publication of the best poems will be read and “poured” over the statue on July 4 as part reading, part performance art.