Will of the City Project
Featuring Exchange by Poet Anya Banerjee
Saint Flashlight has been featured on our page before and we deeply love and admire their commitment to releasing poetry into public spaces from theater marquees to slips of paper with mysterious phone numbers where those in the know can score a poem. This time they're sending poetry into the wild with a little help from the world’s most famous playwright! The new project is called Will of the City and you can check it out by clicking on the link.
Saint Flashlight is partnering with Theatre for a New Audience to present poems inspired by William Shakespeare all during the fall. This partnership spotlights the work of over a dozen writers on the outdoor screens at Polonsky Shakespeare Center – Theatre for a New Audience’s home in Fort Greene - into an anthology of poems inspired by Shakespeare’s plays.
Sacred Chickens is happy to announce that we are able to share one of these poems – from a brilliant new writer, Anya Banerjee – with our readers
by Anya Banerjee
My mother never called me Changeling Boy.
Her name for me remains unheard, unknown.
And yet, somewhere within, it brings me joy;
That safely secret name shall not be owned.
Sometimes whispers call out a lover’s name
And sail through the forest like merchant ships.
My chance to steal some merchandise! I claim
Their treasured whispers, sealed between my lips.
But this Midsummer Night my lips do part;
Out flies a voice, familiar yet strange.
And here my broken and twice-stolen heart
Begins to ask “For what was I exchanged?”
No fairy dust, no spicèd Indian air.
Just little old me and my self laid bare.
Anya Banerjee is a Kiwi-American actress/writer whose first play Apologies to the Bengali Lady was workshopped at the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University before playing at The Tank NYC and then the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received shining reviews from The Scotsman, British Theatre Guide, and The List. This sonnet, inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, first appeared on the giant LED screens outside of Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn as part of Saint Flashlight’s The Will of the City project which paired playwrights and poets with Shakespeare’s plays.