House of Abundance Poetry turns ‘quarantine’ into art

House of Abundance Poetry turns ‘quarantine’ into art

We’re in the midst of strange times, marked by a host of ever-changing “normals.”

Under usual circumstances, House of Abundance Poetry — run by roommates and best friends of nearly two decades Tina Kachoo and Solange Claws — serves as a community space for poetry, ciphers, improvisation and occasional live music in their Bed-Stuy neighborhood. But as the global health crisis continues, members of this community are physically distanced, unable to gather and share safely.

Tina Kachoo and Solange Claws.

Kachoo and Claws opened their home to host quarterly reading events over four years ago. They have since become a staple of their community and a safe haven for its members. Centering their events on themes that highlight social justice, identity, love, loss and more, the duo aims to bring attention to local organizations and charities they support through the attendees’ generous donations.

Their fliers are created by local artists and designers, allowing visual artists an opportunity to build their portfolio and gain exposure — another mission paramount to the collective. There’s always wine, cheese, atmospheric lights and open windows that let in the breeze. More than a few attendees have met and dated at these events, and one couple even went on to get engaged. (Reader, it was me.)

Photo: House of Abundance.
House of Abundance Poetry. Photo: Matthew Joseph (@matt.joe).

This spring, House of Abundance’s much-anticipated four-year anniversary event fell as the COVID-19 pandemic took a grip on the city, and they made the difficult decision to postpone. In the absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance and prompted poets with a single word: quarantine.

Each week, ALL ARTS will release a new poem by a collective member. We know this does not make up for the loss of physical togetherness, but hope it brings a sense of community to our readers. Watch this page for links and updates as we roll out the series.

For more information, future events and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram via @abundancehouseof.

Full schedule of poems:

July 23: Solange Claws
July 30: Jeremy Lockett
Aug. 6: Genevieve Brown
Aug. 13: Abdul Fattah Ismail
Aug. 20: Tina Kachoo, Chrystelle Robinson and Karmay Gorley
Aug. 27: Rafaela Remy Sanchez
Sept. 3: Daad Sharfi
Sept. 10: Stefanny Andujar
Sept. 17: Victoria Brown
Sept. 24: Rikki Jane Gotthelf
Oct. 1: Ketty Joe
Oct. 8: E.C. Church
Oct. 15: Tara Hiteshew
Oct. 22: Arteria Richardson