Sunday Fun at NMAI: Mohawk Cello and Poetry

‘Tis the time of year to be out in the shopping trenches, and what better way to take a break of a Sunday than to stop by the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) for “an afternoon of contemporary poetics, spoken word, performance, song and video by Mohawk poet Janet Marie Rogers accompanied by Mohawk cellist Dawn Avery,” as the event’s Facebook page (you must sign in to view) describes “Mohawk Poetics: Spoken Word and Song,” a free performance—two, actually—on Sunday December 11 from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. (cello) and 1:30 to 3:30 (poetics). The cello prelude will take place in the Potomac Atrium, while the main part of the program will be on the fourth floor.

“Both artists draw from their cultural legacies and work with contemporary art practices in a literary-based presentation of spoken word, performance poetry, readings, and video by Janet, accompanied by the accomplished musical stylings of Dawn,” the NMAI says on its website. The rhythmic poems speak of contemporary indigenous experiences and celebrate cultural survival. Janet’s poetry is referred to as ‘word medicine,’ offering something good for the mind, body, and spirit.”

Perfect for the season. Below are samplings from both artists.

Avery, joined by Rogers.


Rogers, at the Auckland Arts Festival last March.



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Sunday Fun at NMAI: Mohawk Cello and Poetry