Updated: Aug 29
"Art is a multi-layered process, and has a scientific technique to creating it. Poetry is just me. Poetry to me is like meditation. It reminds me of my grandfather kneeling on his prayer mat in India. I pick up my pen and start to write what I am feeling, and I don’t stop and put the pen down until that feeling and thought are completed. Once the poem is written, I don’t touch it again. The words flow through me in verses. I feel like I have broken something if I change it. It’s like I’m dressing it up to be something else." ~ Hasna Sal
Book Launch Celebration & Art Show November 12th, Westport Center for the Arts 201 Westport Rd Kansas City, MO 6 to 8 pm.
Flying Ketchup Press is proud to announce the publication of architect and artist, Hasna Sal, our 2020-2021 Poet in Residence celebrating the release of her first book, Poems in Glass. Essays, poems, and over 50 full color images of her stained class sculptural installations. Sanctuary, Sanctum, Spirit and Synchrony, Sal addresses her intuitive interior design, her advocacy for victims of trafficking, as well as her vision to create art that is healing to the human spirit and the local environment.
POEMS IN GLASS is a uniquely original book. Part memoir, part revelation. Through the panes, poems, and practice of glass artist, Hasna Sal, you'll find the heart of a poet. "From the pulse of a small city park at dusk, one artist is forever changed." Hasna's insistence that the "artist's role is to bring awareness" sounds simple until you walk the bed of shards, she crosses with the people in her community. From a local doctor and his family, to the invisible victims of trafficking, to the weary student in need of spiritual sustenance, Hasna explores both outer and inner sanctum; our personal deepest needs for spirit and light. Illustrated with her brilliantly cast unpaned glass art, Hasna's lyrical verse harkens back to the form of Sufi poets, and the warmth of bygone days where color brings visceral emotion and therapeutic energy to the mind and body. Color is the elixir of life. Let Hasna serenade your soul as she shares her life's work through narrative, art, and verse.
“As an artist, I feel a responsibility to be an advocate of change….Color, light, and social awareness is the focus of my work. I concentrate on social reform through the application of color and light in my sculptures in articulating my narrative.Public art is a means to create a conversation that may be polarized. It becomes a conversation piece used to voice our opinions and to listen to people. Communication happens, and that brings change.”
Working from her Johnson County Glass Studio near her home, her work is shown at various art shows and competitions in Kansas City throughout the United States and worldwide. Most well known are her her glass-panel memorial for human trafficking victims in Lykins Square Park, which was unveiled last October. As well as her upcoming installation at the new KCI terminal at the Kansas City Airport and her most recent trip this October to the Larnaca Biennale in Cypress.
About the craft of glass sculptures, she says, “Since 2004, I have been sculpting glass in various shapes, forms and sizes. In 2010, I was accepted into Harvard for a postgraduate degree in landscape architecture. My education at Harvard gave me a greater understanding for the natural world and I translate my observations into my sculptural forms,” said Sal.
How did the poetry come about? “I was on an airplane flying to New York for an art installment. I was writing verses for the art pieces that were going to be presented. That is something I do for all of my artwork. I sent the verses to a friend, Dr. Kevin Vogt. He was impressed with the verses and thought other people would enjoy reading them. That was when I was inspired to write the book...I knew when I found Polly’s information, Polly Alice McCann the managing Editor at Flying Ketchup Press, I knew this was the publisher I wanted to work with; her poetry and art is well-known and respected. I knew she was the person I wanted to publish my work. She’s held my hand through this entire process guiding me and I am so grateful,” shared Sal. “I like to sit back in my recliner and let the pen flow; however, sometimes poetry just comes to me. I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m scratching things down on paper or napkins. I wake up in the morning and read what I’ve written from the night before. Sometimes you get an Ah-hah moment...” explains Sal.
About her faith and her unique Nativity Triptych: a 600 pound nativity scene of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph gained national attention because of the contrast with her Native Indian cultural heritage to unexpectedly make art about the Christian tradition. “After the Nativity piece, I felt two things very strongly: Christ will protect the innocent, and when something good happens, it brings the world together.” She explains that the spirit of stained glass and her Nativity installation inspired the Lykins Square Park Memorial. “I wanted to bring the church and spirituality into the park. I wanted to associate glass with spirituality and Godliness,” explains Sal. She believes that the Nativity piece had to have been created first, because it was what then led her to the Lykins Park project (Into The Light). Part of the impetus began after reading a book by a sex trafficking survivor, Christine McDonald (Cry Purple). Hasna explains her faith has inspired her to use her art as advocacy for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is a goal that she strives to accomplish not only through the use of her art, but now through her poetry, too. “I identify myself as the raconteur; bringing to light stories that are overlooked or forgotten or uncomfortable. Sharing these stories creates awareness of the problem, which in turn facilitates the platform for conversations and resolutions to take place,” says Sal.
Sal sees a great difference in the two mediums of art and poetry: “Art is a multi-layered process, and has a scientific technique to create it. Poetry is just me. Poetry to me is like meditation. It reminds me of my grandfather kneeling on his prayer mat in India. I pick up my pen and start to write what I am feeling, and I don’t stop and put the pen down until that feeling and thought are completed. Once the poem is written, I don’t touch it again. The words flow through me in verses. I feel like I have broken something if I change it. It’s like I’m dressing it up to be something else,” said Sal.
Recent acceptance into the 2021 Biennale in Larnaca,Cypress. One of two Americans Accepted into the first is the first biennial ever organized in Cyprus. Out of several hundred entries Sal was chosen to be one of 54 artists selected from a pool of over 34 countries.
Bio: HASNA SAL credits her graduate work in landscape architecture from Harvard with the foundation of her current work in glass sculpture. She apprenticed under artists in England and Wales and earned her five-year NAAB-accredited professional degree program in architecture at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. She calls herself a raconteur–bringing to light stories that are overlooked or forgotten or through her sculptural glass and light installations. A lifelong poet, she now debuts her first public poetry. With a diploma from the London School of Journalism, she synthesizes personal narratives, poetry, and art for communities with her unique, creative placemaking and social reform.
Last week we had a visit from NY Poet & Author A. A. Rubin! Listen here...
Flying Ketchup Press ® founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. We publish books, anthologies, podcasts, magazines, and contemporary media. Each year, Flying Ketchup Press produces collections of short stories and poetry by select authors, as well as an anthology dedicated to adult and teen readers. Our dream, to share worlds of wonder and delight.
Ketchupedia is an outreach of Flying Ketchup Press ® began in 2020 a grassroots network to connect the Kansas City & regional writers community through weekly blogs, a writer's word of the day podcast, a live poetry radio show, and two annual poet-in-residences including open mics, classes, and events to allow regional artists to explore motivation, creative goals, and advocacy-making room for poetry, as a space for personal narrative that empowers, heals, and unites diverse audiences. You can find us at Home | Flying Ketchup Press