Events October 16-18: American Poets, Deep Sea Drugs and Take 5!

This week, get face-to-face with America’s poets, learn about biomedical research in the deep sea and enjoy live music and drawing

Could your next prescription be filled here?
Could your next prescription be filled here? Photo by Wolcott Henry, courtesy the Natural History Museum

Tuesday, October 16: Poetic Likeness

Known for their innovative use of language, America’s modern poets are less known by their likenesses. Thanks to a new show at the National Portrait Gallery, “Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets,” maybe that will change. After all, many of the poets were friends with well-known visual artists including Richard Avedon. A collection of more than 75 portraits, from photographs to sculptures, capture well-known and lesser-known voices from American poetry, from Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes to Marianne Moore. The show was curated by the gallery’s own David Ward, who is not only a historian and curator but also a poet himself. Free. Daily. 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. National Portrait Gallery through April 28.

Wednesday, October 17: “Drugs From the Sea”

Ever since the juicy exposé of underwater life, The Little Mermaid, people have wondered what might be happening under the surface of the sea. Some people have even been studying the matter. Enter Dr. Shirley Pomponi, who has been researching why and how sponges operate as “miniature chemical factories.” Pomponi has also been exploring how these sponges might help labs synthesize biomedical materials. Perhaps soon we’ll be taking our medicines with a side of tartar sauce. Pomponi will fill visitors in on the details at a free discussion. Free. 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Natural History Museum, Baird Auditorium.

Thursday, October 18: Brian Settles Quartet

Thursday offers another great evening of art and music brought to you by the Take 5! series. This time, the crowd can partake in a free drawing workshop while enjoying original music by the tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman as performed by the Brian Settles Quartet. The Texas native was best known for his free jazz performances with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett. Though he was known for his improvisational abilities, he was also a talented composer. Witness the legacy of his creative genius and get inspired to produce some of your own genius on the drawing pad. Free. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. American Art, Kogod Courtyard.

Get the latest on what's happening At the Smithsonian in your inbox.