I was the invited culinary artist for another Feast of Words at SomArts with the legendary writer Maxine Hong Kingston, to complement their current exhibit, “At War,” dealing with the topic of war and conflict. Having just completed an installation using food and video to talk about war for Emergency USA (see post below), I decided to reprise the piece for another audience.
Maxine Hong Kingston read from her book, “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life,” quoting Rumi, and I served a sumptuous feast of 13th century delights and video installation of Rumi’s poems, mixing words with food from Rumi’s poems, including lavash, murri, baklava and wine.
The Rumi connection between us was unplanned and interesting.
Kingston shared writing exercises she has been doing for almost two decades with war veterans – using poetry, memoir and fiction as coping strategies for post-traumatic stress disorder, using writing as a tool to transform inner consciousness away from violence towards humanity, humility, vulnerability, and compassion.
It was a pleasure and an honor to present work alongside Maxine Hong Kingston and hear her share her process as an artist and an activist.