Books about Town

A collaboration between the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, Books about Town has placed 50 book-shaped and book-themed benches along four “trails” throughout the city of London, England. The benches will remain in place through September 15, 2014, and will then be auctioned to support the work of the National Literacy Trust.

See photos of the benches, trail maps and much more on the Books about Town website and the Books about Town Facebook page.

another poetry walk

January 12, 2014

mesostic poem: BAYLEAFTREEThe Ministry of Stories is a creative writing and mentoring center for young people in east London. Burgess Studio is a London-based design agency. St Mary’s Secret Garden is a horticultural project in Hackney, London: “a peaceful oasis in the middle of a very busy area of the capital.”

The three entities converged in spring 2013, when 14 local children worked with Burgess Studio and poets Malika Booker and Rachel Rose Reid to create a poetry trail in the garden. The trail is marked by mesostic poems (a form explored most notably by John Cage) written by the children.

For more on the garden, visit the Ministry of Stories and Burgess Studio. For more fun with mesostics, try Nicki Hoffman’s mesostic generator, P.S.: Meso. For more on poetry walks, visit our poetry walk archive.
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prescription for a Monday

September 16, 2013

Emergency Poet

Because it’s Monday, and because the torrential rain has left us feeling somewhat soggy, and because it’s been more than a year since we mentioned the Emergency Poet, we thought it might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Emergency Poet, outfitted with a brand-new ambulance and skilled poem-medics, continues to serve the public’s poetic health at arts, literary and music events and festivals, schools, pubs, corporate events, weddings and parties around London.

Learn more on the Emergency Poet website, like the Emergency Poet on Facebook then take two (poems) and check back tomorrow morning.

poetry ride…

February 14, 2013

Elizabeth Bishop ~ Poems on the Underground

We’ve written before about Poems on the Underground (the “Tube”), in London. Here, in honor of Valentine’s Day, a poem poster featuring love words by Elizabeth Bishop. More here or browse through the entire set of posters. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

visualizing poetry…

December 17, 2012

Robert Montgomery - 39

You’re more likely to find Robert Montgomery‘s poetry on the side of a bus shelter, plastered, guerrilla-style, over a billboard, or in an art gallery than in an anthology or literary magazine. Bridging the line between writing, politics and visual art, Montgomery has, for nearly a decade, created and posted his graphically simple poetry and cultural comments. Trained at Edinburgh College of Art and based in London, he works in what he calls the “poetic and melancholic post-Situationist tradition.”

From a recent, very successful, Kickstarter campaign by mono.kultur to publish a book of Montgomery’s work: “Robert never signs his work — so when you come across one if his billboards in the streets, you don’t really know where the message came from, but you immediately know who it is addressed to: it is addressed to you — to all of us. His work is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but it also conveys the sense of a very sincere and personal investment — it raises fundamental questions about the world we live in, and how we live in it.”

Visit Robert Montgomery’s website, read an interview in the Independent, and see another interview and slide show of Montgomery’s work at the Huffington Post. Learn more about the Situationists.
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photo by Robert Montgomery

The Emergency PoetPerhaps you’re aware of some of the cultural activities surrounding the run-up to the London Olympics…poems falling from the sky and so on.

Well, writer Deborah Alma has converted a vintage ambulance to serve as the vehicle for The Emergency Poet (those words appear in the emblem on the side of the vehicle). The ambulance, equipped with the latest diagnostic techniques and highly skilled poetry practitioners, visits festivals, schools, private parties and other disaster spots around London to provide “The world’s first and only mobile poetic first aid service.”

The ailing individual is welcomed into the ambulance to recline on the vehicle’s gurney and discuss symptoms with the on-duty nurse, then is “prescribed an appropriate and hopefully uplifting poem!”

If you Facebook, read more about (and Like) The Emergency Poet. “No experience of poetry necessary, indeed the service was first established in order to overcome allergies.”

more poetry in motion…

December 19, 2011

Miroslav Holub – In the Microscope

Since 1986, carriages on the London (England) Underground (the tube) have displayed poetry to soothe weary travelers. Each year, judges from Poems on the Underground select six poems that reflect on a designated theme. The 2011 selection “commemorates wars past and present and celebrates the universal desire for peace.” The poems are posted in 3,000 display spaces on the trains and printed sets of featured poems can be viewed and purchased from The Poetry Society.

Poems on the Underground has, directly or indirectly, inspired numerous similar programs, including the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, which displays each year’s winning poems in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses.