The museum is looking for original poetry to coincide with the “Black and White” photo exhibition



Museum announces poetry competition to coincide with photo exhibition: Poets from the Bay Area are invited to submit a poem inspired by a new virtual photography exhibition entitled “Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope and Diversity in America”.

The exhibit, sponsored locally by the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum, will officially launch online on September 26 and run through November 6. There will be a grand opening reception on Friday October 1, during which three poets will read the original poems selected especially for the event and reprinted in a memorial chapbook.

The poems, which can be submitted until August 31, will all be inspired by one of the photos in the exhibition, and cash prizes will be awarded for the three winning poems. The photographs were discovered at a garage sale in 1965, when Doug Keister, then 16, acquired 280 glass plate negatives. When he started making prints, he realized the photos were portraits of black residents of Lincoln, Nebraska, taken at the turn of the 20th century.

These striking images have been attributed to John Johnson, a black photographer who has used his own neighborhood to capture faces and provide vivid insight into the lives of friends, family and neighbors. The son of a Civil War veteran and runaway slave, Johnson lived from 1879 to 1953.

Poets who wish to participate can see a preview of the exhibition and select a photo for inspiration. There is no charge to participate in the poetry competition. Interested poets can find more information and a link to the preview at

Got an idea for a good Buzz article? Maybe a photo to go with it? Please send your suggestion to Community Editor David Templeton at [email protected]


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