poetry in the wild

January 15, 2019

On-Site Poetry is an art project by writer/performer Nick J. Swarth and typographic designer Sander Neijnens. Since 2006, the two have collaborated on more than 30 site-specific poetry installations around the Netherlands. Some are permanent, others are temporary, like the 90-meter poem shown above, created for an art festival with 2747 orange peels from the juice press at a local supermarket. (As the artists explain, “Decay is part of this work.”)

Unfortunately, neither the poem, ‘Zachte dromer’, nor its translation, ‘Soft dreamer’, are available online, but you can find a lot more on the On-Site Poetry website, on Facebook, and @onsitepoetry.


on poetry

January 14, 2019

“I still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line…”
Yukio Mishima
(January 14, 1925 – November 25, 1970)

The Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing program is once again hosting readings by some of the world’s finest contemporary writers during its 10-day residency in Seaside, Oregon.

Free and open to the public, the evening readings begin at 7:30pm and take place from Friday, January 11, through Friday, January 18, 2019, at the Best Western Ocean View Resort, located at 414 N. Prom in Seaside, Oregon.

The readers are:

  • Jan. 11 | Pete Fromm, Joseph Millar & Kellie Wells
  • Jan. 12 | Sanjiv Bhattacharya, Molly Gloss & Cate Kennedy
  • Jan. 13 | Frank Gaspar, Valerie Laken & Shara McCallum
  • Jan. 14 | Mike Magnuson, John McNally & Mary Helen Stefaniak
  • Jan. 15 | Marvin Bell, Jack Driscoll & Debra Gwartney
  • Jan. 16 | Chris Abani & Claire Dederer
  • Jan. 17 | Scott Korb & Mahtem Shiferraw
  • Jan. 18 | Claire Davis & Kwame Dawes

watching poetry

January 11, 2019

If you’re ready for a little poetic video viewing, have a look at Aeon. The site offers a wide array of long- and short-form essays and digital musings as well as a variety of materials on poetry, including, “The brevity and beauty of Yeats’s verses reveal poetry’s enduring significance” and “‘Now I will do nothing but listen’ – Walt Whitman on how sound shapes the self.” (And in case there’s not enough of the stuff right outside your window, have a look at “A meditative cinepoem from 1929 captures the reflective, ethereal wonders of water.”) Enjoy.

Attention Tacoma poets!

January 10, 2019

Do you have creative ideas, great people skills, plenty of energy, and a commitment to enlivening the poetry community? The City of Tacoma, Washington, is looking for a Poet Laureate for 2019-2021. Learn something about outgoing PL Kellie Richardson and see the guidelines and application online.

LFL extraordinaire

January 9, 2019

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

We’ve written before about the Little Free Library program. Here’s an LFL that’s really turning heads.

When Sharalee Armitage Howard “had to remove a huge tree that was over 110 years old” in front of her Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, home, she “decided to turn it into a little free library (which I’ve always wanted).” Beautifully crafted and complete with exterior and interior lighting and dentil molding in the shape of little books, her Little Free Library is open for browsing.

On her Facebook page, Howard explains that “this tree won’t look amazing until Spring when I can plant groundcover and cheerful perennials around it, touch up the paint, and fine-tune the trimwork,” but we think it looks pretty swell right now. Learn more and watch the video.

The Poetry Jukebox

January 8, 2019

Not sure how we missed this poetry project, but it definitely deserves a spot here! The Poetry Jukebox originated in Prague as Pianos on the Streets. Café owner and cultural activist Ondřej Kobza, along with producer and writer Michaela Hečková, focus on the “animation of public space in cities.” During the last four years they have installed about 50 pianos and 60 chess tables in public places and have now turned their attention to The Poetry Jukebox, saying,

“The Poetry Jukebox is a jukebox with poetry. We believe that listening to the original voices of poets is one of the most beautiful and inspiring experiences a city can offer.”

With jukeboxes in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Philippines, and an earlier New York version installed in 2016 in front of CBGB with the support of the Bowery Poetry Club, the latest was installed in Greenwich Village at the Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle at Sixth Ave. and Eighth St.

“You walk by, you press a button, you hear a poem. It’s strikingly simple and, well, kind of genius.”

Read more about the Greenwich Village jukebox in The Villager, and learn more about the project on The Poetry Jukebox website and on Facebook.

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