CURA Personalis: A Reading Gala


Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:00 pm
Fordham University, Lincoln Center, Plaza Level Atrium
113 W. 60th Street, 
New York, NY 10023, Map
Take the escalators up one floor to the Plaza Level 

Readings followed by a heavy hors d'oeuvre reception
All proceeds benefit Covenant House
Cocktail Attire
Space is limited
Tickets are available at the door 

$5 Admission
$10 Admission + copy of CURA
$10 Admission + dog tag 
$20 Admission + copy of CURA + dog tag

For more information on The DogTag Project, scroll below 




Dennis Barton serves as Vice Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing. He coordinates their Speakers Bureau and co-facilitates the Panim el Panim Life Skills Empowerment Program. In addition to working as a Peer-Educator in the Education Department of Planned Parenthood, he is an active member of Middle Collegiate Church and an Ordained Deacon in the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of New York.

Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of Imago, a poetry collection, from CavanKerry Press. Born in the Philippines, he was raised there and in Los Angeles where he immigrated with his family when he was twelve. He holds degrees from Loyola Marymount University and the Creative Writing Program at New York University. Currently, he lives in Manhattan and works at Columbia University. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including North American Review, Gulf Coast, Crab Orchard Review, Bloomsbury Review, Puerto Del Sol, Seneca Review, The Literary Review, Gay & Lesbian Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Bamboo Ridge, and the anthologies Contemporary Voices of the Eastern World, PinoyPoetics, and Titling the Continent. A recipient of a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, he co-founded Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poets.

Evie Shockley is the author of two books of poetry—the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006)—and the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2011). Her poetry has been published internationally in journals and anthologies and supported with residencies and scholarships from the Millay Colony for the Arts, Cave Canem, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and Hedgebrook. She is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where she teaches African American literature and creative writing.

The DogTag Project


CURA is honored to participate in The DogTag Project, a large-scale, interactive public art project developed by Holly Laws that centers around the distribution of military inspired dog-tags, stamped not with the names of warriors, but with fragments of text from many sources. These texts speak to the human consequences of war, the notion of a shared humanity, and the persistence of memory. 

They are meant to raise questions and inspire reverie and reflection.  The DogTag Project is not a single event at one point on the map, but rather an ongoing event that materializes in hundreds of locations. It is meant for everybody and anybody – as wide an audience as those potentially affected by the losses incurred in war. 

Dog tags have found their way into the hands of people across the globe. The DogTag Project has turned up in cities across the United States including  Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle, and to points outside the U.S. including cities in Canada, Poland, Germany, Kenya, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Italy, England, Australia, and Serbia. To date nearly 6000 pairs of dog tags bearing 12 different text fragments have been distributed throughout the world.  

HOW IT ALL BEGAN: The prototypes for the DogTag Project were created for a theatrical adaptation of The Iliad which Laws helped design in 2000 at the International Theater Program of the University of Rochester. After the horrific events of September 11, and the global political responses to them, the dog tags gained new meaning for the artist. The 3000 year old Homeric quote "There is nothing alive more agonized than man of all that breathes and crawls across the earth," stamped into the tags seemed so unexpectedly timely as to be prescient. Laws says, "I began wearing my set of tags again. I found myself fingering the tags' raised text as if they were prayer beads. In addition to the obvious military association, I began to see the tags as small monuments to all personal sacrifice that results from blind patriotism and jingoism." The dog tags could be a symbol of national solidarity and simultaneously describe deep mourning for the individual loss that was occurring on all sides of a complex conflict. Out of this personal response, the DogTag Project was born.

Dog tags are typically distributed gratis and distributed organically through personal networks.  Dog tags have therefore never been available to the general public. As a special exception to this case, Holly is making a limited edition of six tags available through CURA.  All proceeds from dog tag sales through CURA will benefit Covenant House.  

Dog tags are available through CURA's May 4th Reading Gala (scroll above) 

Holly Laws currently teaches three-dimensional design and contemporary media at the University of Central Arkansas. Laws holds a BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. 

Texts of dog tags available through CURA:

(first tag)


(second tag)


(third tag) 

(fourth tag)


(fifth tag)


(sixth tag)







Resurfacing is a project to transform a selected space at Covenant House’s New York City location.  Senbazuru, or 1,000 paper cranes, will be suspended from a proposed ceiling installation with cables of varied but specific lengths. The result will be a repositioned, overhead surface, composed of cranes that at certain points will hover above, while at others, will surround its occupants in order to create an entirely new environment. This surface of Senbazuru evokes the non-breeding time of cranes, when they are gregarious and form large flocks to socialize. Resurfacing and its single act to transform a space, symbolizes Covenant House’s goal to create new, safe places for its homeless teenagers. Over the 2011 - 2012 academic year, Fordham students are folding the 1,000 origami cranes that will be featured in Resurfacing.  Japanese legend has it that one who folds a senbazuru will be granted a wish.  Fordham's wish for the children of Covenant House is that they find the loving homes they need and deserve.  
Total Crane Count as of 3/22:  1,000!  

Architect Team:

Carrie Eastman is a LEED accredited designer who has been practicing landscape architecture in and around New York since 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Art in the History of Art and Architecture from Brown University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. As a graduate student, Carrie was a Dean’s Forum Scholar and the recipient of the Howland Fellowship. Her entry for the Highline won a jury selection in the International Open Ideas Competition, Designing the Highline. She is a regular juror on Parsons, the New School design reviews.

Andrew Skey is an award-winning architect, industrial and graphic designer. He has been the project architect for several works which received the Honor Awards for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). His industrial design has been featured in Esquire, TONEAudio and Stereophile magazines. His art direction work in graphic design was honored with a New York Addy Award in 1998. Skey has a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University where he was the recipient of the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Design Award for best graduate studio project. He is a regular juror on furniture design, architecture, and drawing reviews at Pratt Institute and the Cooper Union.