Conversations · Exhibition-Related

A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Shaun Leonardo and Nicole Sealey

Gallery Tour and Poetry Reading

Cover Image:

Left: Shaun Leonardo. Photo: Vincent Tullo. Right: Nicole Sealey. Photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Join artist Shaun Leonardo for an intimate walk through of the exhibition “Mirror/Echo/Tilt” followed by a reading by poet Nicole Sealey, author of the critically acclaimed debut collection Ordinary Beast (Ecco, 2017). This program is part of “A Possibility that Exists Alongside,” a series of artist-led gallery talks and poetry readings highlighting the capacity of voice—through writing, speech, and movement—to challenge, provoke, and create new possibilities. “Mirror/Echo/Tilt” is a video, performance, and pedagogical project created by artists Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith in collaboration with individuals affected by the justice system. Focusing on embodied gesture across fragmented and repeated vignettes, the multichannel video employs nonverbal forms of meter, pause, and syntax to counter narratives imposed by the carceral state.

Born in St. Thomas, USVI, and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, a finalist for the PEN Open Book and Hurston/Wright Legacy awards, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named (2016), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include a 2019 Rome Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review (2014), the Poetry International Prize (2012), and a Daniel Varoujan Award (2012); grants from the Jerome Foundation (2018) and the Elizabeth George Foundation (2014); and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony, and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker and elsewhere. Sealey holds an MLA in Africana studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. Recently named a 2019–20 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, she is also the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, a visiting professor at Boston University, and the 2018–19 Doris Lippman Visiting Poet at the City College of New York.

This gallery talk is at capacity. We invite you to join us for other public programs in the series A Possibility that Exists Alongside:

Thursday August 22, 6 PM
A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Gallery Tour with Melanie Crean and Poetry Reading by Jess Saldaña

Thursday September 12, 6 PM
A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Gallery Tour and Poetry Reading by Sable Elyse Smith

The New Museum is wheelchair accessible; learn more about access services and amenities here. To request accommodations, please email or call 212.219.1222 ×235 at least three weeks in advance.


This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Support for “Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, Sable Elyse Smith: Mirror/Echo/Tilt” can be viewed here.

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