Why write a poem today…and other meanderings

November 1, 2014

Tucson, Arizona

These posts sometimes have a mind of their own. Here’s how this one happened…

Recently, we posted about the University of Arizona Poetry Center, in Tucson. The Poetry Center’s Facebook page posted a notice that the electronic reader boards at Tucson streetcar stops are now displaying new poems by Richard Siken. (Pictured above, words by Richard Siken and sculpture by Ben Olmstead and Simon Donovan depicting a poet blowing words onto a digital page. The sculpture is based on a lifecast of Richard Siken).

Looking for further details reveals that the new Tucson Sun Link streetcar has an ambitious public art program that enhances all 23 of its stations, but the reader boards are new enough that there’s no mention of them.

So, on to Richard Siken’s website, which also doesn’t mention the reader boards, but provides a link to YouTube, where you’ll find a film of his wonderful poem, Why. The lines of the poem appear on screen, accompanied by Siken’s photos and a musical track. If you’re in doubt about why you should write a poem today, take eleven-and-a-half minutes and watch Why.

screen capture

. . . . .
Images: top; bottom (screen capture)

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