‘Heart-Turned-Inside-Out Poems’ (detail), 2023 ©️ Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Reading & Book Launch: Cheryl Johnson-Odim’s ‘Heart-Turned-Inside-Out Poems’

  • Mon 11 December 2023
  • 6 pm

On the occasion of Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ newest release, ‘Heart-Turned-Inside-Out Poems’ by Cheryl Johnson-Odim, please join us for a reading of selections from the book.

At the heart of this book is a collection of poems from Cheryl Johnson-Odim’s ‘Other Women Before Me,’ a pamphlet published in an edition of three hundred by the Poetry Factory Press in 1985—the year her son Rashid Johnson turned eight years old. In 2022, Johnson selected the book—along with titles by the likes of Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Claudia Rankine, and Sylvia Plath—for a reading area accompanying Rashid Johnson’s exhibition ‘Sodade’ at Hauser & Wirth Menorca, where the artwork featured on the cover of this publication was also on view.

The present publication includes almost all the poems in ‘Other Women Before Me,’ as well as the original front matter and a very few additional, more recent poems by Johnson-Odim. Her work is accompanied by pages from a 2020 sketchbook by Rashid Johnson and a far-ranging conversation between mother and son.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase during the event.

This event is free. However, due to limited space, reservations are required.

Click here to register.


Cheryl Johnson-Odim

About Cheryl Johnson-Odim
Cheryl Johnson-Odim holds a PhD in history from Northwestern University. She is a Fulbright Scholar who has taught at Northwestern (where she also served as Assistant Director of the Program of African Studies), the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Loyola University where she was chair of the History Department, Columbia College Chicago where she was the inaugural Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, and Dominican University where she served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Her community service is extensive, including chair of the Higher Learning Commission’s Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the Illinois Humanities Council, co-chair of the Block Museum at Northwestern, founding board of associate editors of the Journal of Women’s History, board member of the African Studies Association and American Council of Learned Societies, among many other such positions. She was a leader of the Free South Africa Movement in the 1980s and on the organizing committee of the Women’ s March (Chicago) in 2017, among other activist pursuits.

Johnson-Odim is the author or co-author of three books, numerous chapters in books, articles in scholarly journals and book reviews. She is also a poet with a pamphlet of her poetry published in 1985 by the Poetry Factory Press and subsidized by the Illinois Arts Council.

She is the proud mother of three bada** children: Chaka, Rashid and Maya.

© Rashid Johnson. Photo: Daniel Schäfer

About Rashid Johnson

'Poetry is a vehicle for the exploration of critical concerns, aesthetics, and the romantic.  It is a mode that acts as a mirror of all other mediums.'

-Rashid Johnson 2023

Born in Chicago in 1977, Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, matenality, and critical history. Johnson received a BA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago and studied for his masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Johnson's practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media--including sculpture, painting, drawing, film making, and installation--yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history. Johnsons work is known for its narrative embedding of a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing aspects of history and cultural identity. Many of Johnson’s more recent works delve into existential themes such as personal and collective anxiety, interiority, and liminal space.

Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Seven Rooms and a Garden. Rashid Johnson + Moderna Museet’, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2023; ‘Rashid Johnson. Nudiustertian’, Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong, 2023; ‘The Chorus’, The Metropolitan Opera, New York NY, 2021; ‘Summer Projects. Rashid Johnson’, Creative Time, New York, NY, 2021; ‘Rashid Johnson. Capsule’, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 2021; ‘The Crisis’, Storm King Art Center, New Windsor NY; ‘Rashid Johnson. Waves’, Hauser & Wirth, London, UK, 2020; the touring exhibition ‘Rashid Johnson. The Hikers’ at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO, the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico and at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 2019; ‘Provocations. Rashid Johnson’, Institute for Contemporary Art, Richmond VA, 2018; ‘Rashid Johnson. No More Water’ at Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland, 2018 and ‘Rashid Johnson. Hail We Now Sing Joy’ at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City MO which traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI, 2017.

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