“Creating Salem Lessons” By Nicole Cooley and Maureen Cummins
Maureen Cummins and Nicole Cooley, two former AAS Creative and Performing Artist and Writers Fellows will return to discuss their collaborative project entitled Salem Lessons. This work is a limited-edition artist book that features a slate-covered container and a "chorus of voices" that provide multiple perspectives on the experience of the Salem Witch trials of the 1690s. Together these voices--of both accusers and executed-- tell the story not only of what happened during that terrible time, but also--through images of copy-book pages kept by a Salem boy a century later--of the psychic reverberations that lasted long after the trials ended.
Maureen Cummins is a book artist who has created over twenty-five limited-edition artist books. Her work is held in over 100 permanent public collections internationally and has been included in exhibitions at the American Craft Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum, the Rotunda Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Comlex Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. Cummins has received over a dozen grants and awards and has held various artist-in-residences. She was a creative artist fellow in residence at AAS in 2001.
Nicole Cooley is a poet and writer whose works include four books of poetry: Milk Dress (2010), Resurrection (1996), The Afflicted Girls (2004), and Breach (2010); the novel Judy Garland, Ginger Love (1998) and various scholarly works. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Field, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, The Paris Review, PEN America, the Missouri Review, The Nation, and Pedagogy. Her awards include the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets for her first book, Resurrection; a Discovery/The Nation Award; a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; and the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. Cooley researched The Afflicted Girls at AAS while a Creative Artist Fellow in 1999. Cooley is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-CUNY, where she is a professor of English.