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Festival Celebrates Borough's Outgoing Poet Laureate

By Katie Honan | March 6, 2014 8:06am
 ETERNiDAY is the last bang for the current poet laureate, pictured, who ends his tenure after the event.
ETERNiDAY is the last bang for the current poet laureate, pictured, who ends his tenure after the event.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan/Courtesy Paolo Javier

CORONA — Poetry, art and music will be the focus of a day-long festival and farewell event for the borough of Queens' outgoing poet laureate.

The ETERNiDAY: Queens Poet Lore Festival will be held March 15 at the Queens Museum, starting at noon and finishing up at 6 p.m. with a party.

"I'm not one to end things with a whimper," said Paolo Javier, the borough's outgoing poet laureate. "I just wanted to make good on a promise I made when I became poet laureate in 2010."

His goal was to celebrate and explore the borough through his work and that of others — and this large event, the first of its size he's curated, will do just that, he said.

The day-long event includes live film and video narration, developmental workshops and a poetry book fair. Many of the participants are Queens natives.

Among the events is a poetry reading in the cafe called "Meanwhile back in Queens...," which borrows its name from the lyrics of the Mobb Deep song "Shook Ones Part II;" and performances on the observation deck of the legendary Panorama of the City exhibit.

Javier, who lives in Sunnyside, said that while his foundation is in poetry, he hopes ETERNiDAY brings together artists of different disciplines that challenge the accepted notion of what poetry is.

"You see different groups all together at this festival taking place in Queens. For me, that is probably the one thing I'm most excited about," he said.

The festival's name, ETERNiDAY, is a concept about time from the artist Joseph Cornell, who lived in Queens and is a personal hero to Javier.

Cornell spent most of his life in his Flushing home, caring for his younger brother and creating art that influenced the pop movement and cinema.

"He avoided the lure of the Manhattan art world and he made all of his good work in his garage in Flushing," Javier said.

"For Joseph Cornell, poetry was the foundation. He was inclusive. He's the quintessential Queens artist."

ETERNiDAY will be held on Saturday, March 15 from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Queens Museum of Art, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. For more information, visit their website.