Installation: Rejin Leys—“Reading the River”

“Reading the River” is a cast paper installation that originated with Haitian-American artist Rejin Leys’ residency at Works on Water (an organization that supports diverse artistic investigations of water in the urban environment). “Reading the River” will be on view from April 12 to May 19, 2023, at the Queens Public Library (89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, New York; F train to 169th Street). Two free workshops  are part of the project. The opening reception of the exhibition is on April 12 at 6:00pm.

Description: “Reading the River” is a sculpture that explores our relationship with NYC’s waterways by incorporating shredded copies of poems written between the 19th century and today. Assembled out of cast paper pulp and collected materials, the sculpture will be installed in the Central building of the Queens Public Library in Jamaica, Queens. Visitors can read the poems, reflect on their own interactions with our rivers and waterfronts, and contribute to a shared bibliography of works that reference our waterways.

Writing the River Poetry Workshop (Free):
Central Library, Main Floor Meeting Room
Saturday 4/22/23, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (EST)

How do you connect with local rivers, beaches, creeks and canals? Come view the “Reading the River’’ exhibition, then join Queens based poet Sherese Francis to write about your relationship to the waterways – whether you’re a regular beach swimmer, a ferry commuter, or rarely leave dry land. All languages are welcome!

Waterfront Papermaking Workshop (Free):
Central Library, Main Floor CLDC Meeting Room
Saturday 5/6/23, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (EST)

Come view “Reading the River” with artist Rejin Leys, then learn to make your own beautiful new paper using recycled scrap paper and shredded poems about the waterways. Participants will take home handmade paper that they can draw or paint on, and make sculptural paper shapes that can be added to the exhibition.

For more information, see and  

See more on the artist at

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