The Poetry Café hosts a lively programme of art exhibitions inspired by poetry and literature. A number of our exhibitions have toured to other venues, resulted in publications or have been shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. We collaborate regularly with up-and-coming artists, including students from the Illustration and Graphic Design departments of Middlesex University.

To Whom The Flesh / My Flesh / Still Connects Me

14 October – 16 November 2019 Extended by a week!
Special opening during Art Licks Weekend, 17–20 October, 12 noon–6pm
You had everything in your car when I first met you, digital image, 2019 , by Joanne Newman.

To Whom The Flesh presents responses to queer poetry’s canon by contemporary visual artists and poets, reinterpreting and bringing the bookmark to burning life. The exhibition is part of Art Licks Weekend 2019.

Focusing on queer desire, To Whom The Flesh / My Flesh / Still Connects Me explores queer poetry’s cannon through a series of new work by contemporary visual artists and poets. Queer poetry is expansive and diverse. Writers of all backgrounds and sexual identities have captured their varied experiences and feelings of love through poetry. Walt Whitman used the natural symbolism of the calamus plant and its “phallic-shaped bloom” to celebrate homoeroticism in Leaves of Grass. Audre Lorde vividly eroticised the female body in ‘Love Poem’ with sensual descriptions such as: “honey flowed / from the split cup / impaled on a lance of tongues”. This group show, curated by Inland Project at The Poetry Society, seeks to connect a range of voices and perspectives that all coalesce to present a complex, nuanced picture of the queer experience of love. To Whom The Flesh is an act of celebration and solidarity, bringing visual arts and poetry communities together.

Join us for the free event, Connecting The Flesh, a publication launch with performances, on Sunday 20 October, 4-6pm, at The Poetry Café, London.

The Art Licks Weekend is an annual festival that showcases the work of pioneering artists, curators, and project spaces in London. This year the festival takes on the title of Art Licks Weekend: Interdependence. Art Licks is London-wide & free to all. View the full programme.