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Voices and Verses

National Poetry Month: “Washing Machine” By Mary Wemple

The Houston poet imagines the secret life of a washing machine.

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  • The washing machine from “Salon of Beauty” by Ana Serrano, commissioned by Rice Gallery (Photo Credit: Photo by Nash Baker)
    The washing machine from “Salon of Beauty” by Ana Serrano, commissioned by Rice Gallery (Photo Credit: Photo by Nash Baker)
  • A street from “Salon of Beauty” by Ana Serrano, commissioned by Rice Gallery (Photo Credit: Photo by Nash Baker)
    A street from “Salon of Beauty” by Ana Serrano, commissioned by Rice Gallery (Photo Credit: Photo by Nash Baker)
  • Poet Mary Wemple (Photo Credit: Photo by Chuck Wemple)
    Poet Mary Wemple (Photo Credit: Photo by Chuck Wemple)

Poet and visual artist, Mary Wemple, is the creator and coordinator of Words & Art, a reading series of poetry and prose inspired by the art at Rice University Art Gallery.

She reads her poem "Washing Machine," written in response to seeing the installation Salon of Beauty by Los Angeles artist Ana Serrano at Rice Gallery in 2011. Serrano created a miniature neighborhood filled with playful, colorful cardboard sculptures of homes, porches, stores and other urban and domestic details. Against a wall stood a single washing machine, sans dryer, and that's where Mary Wemple's poem began.

To learn more about this series, go here.