My Word(s) – These are the tools I trust* is an installation of Flash Story Poems created by participants of the Free Verse Poetry Workshops held in the waiting rooms of the New York City Department of Probation over the course of 2019.
*My Word(s) – These are the tools I trust
is the title and beginning of a poem by Free Verse participant Azalea Fairley. Free Verse
runs poetry workshops in probation center waiting rooms that turn waiting time into creative time. Free Verse invites community members, professional writers, and probation staff, to read, write, sing and perform on the open mic, and to attend dozens of events that inspire, uplift, and empower. Free Verse produces an annual magazine, provides jobs as writing apprentices, and publishes books. All workshops, events, inclusion in the magazine, and book-making are open to the public. Poets share experiences with the criminal justice system, family shelters, experiences with racial profiling, among other critical social issues.
The Community Partnership Exhibition Program at the Queens Museum provides opportunities for cultural and other nonprofit organizational partners to develop and mount short-term exhibitions based on their programs and our collaborative projects.
Image credit: Pablo Dulcan, detail, Free Verse Magazine 2016