the wrong place for poetry

November 10, 2014

Mandeville, Louisiana, poetry box

Mandeville, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, might not strike you as a likely spot for a poetry kerfuffle, but good intentions in the name of poetry have indeed backfired.

We’ve written before, on several occasions, about the appeal of poetry boxes — weatherproof boxes stocked with favorite poems for passersby to take and enjoy. It was exactly that appeal that inspired Robin Hurston, who proposed a series of poetry boxes for the Lake’s north shore. Hurston, who relocated to Coquille, Oregon, after Hurricane Katrina and installed 13 poetry boxes there, thought the idea would be a good fit for Mandeville when she returned to Louisiana.

Initially received as “overwhelmingly positive,” the boxes quickly inspired rancor, not for their content but for their design and placement.

Read more in The New Orleans Advocate. View an impressive map of poetry box locations in Portland, Oregon. See a slide show of poetry boxes and sculptures by Ana Flores, “Poetry of the Wild.”

…And be careful where you put your poetry!
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photo by Scott Threlkeld

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poetry to share

October 2, 2014

poetry boxWhether you call it a poetry box or a poetry post, it’s an appealing idea: sharing the poems you love with anyone who wants one. (We’ve mentioned this subject before, here and here, for example.)

The photo, from Walter Magazine out of Raleigh, North Carolina, shows a poetry box installed by poets Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar in front of their Raleigh home.

If you’re curious about poetry boxes/posts/poles, here are a few places to find inspiration: watch the videos, Jim Bodeen’s Poetry Pole (and the related post from Blue Begonia Press) and Portland’s Poetry Posts; look at the Poetry Box page on Facebook (click on Photos and browse the albums); and see the map of Portland (OR) poetry posts. Here’s an L.A. Times profile on a local poetry box-er and an article about a poetry box installed in a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, park.

If you have other favorite poetry box links or stories, please leave a Comment!
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photo

more poetry walking…

August 27, 2013

"Seaside Studio" poetry box by J. Pavone & M. DixonJust the other day, we posted about “Poetry of the Wild” by Ana Flores. Somehow, this article by Susan Dunne in The Hartford Courant, about a recent Ana Flores project at the University of Connecticut at Groton, escaped mention in that post and it’s definitely worthwhile, especially for the accompanying photos. Shown here is a poetry box, “Seaside Studio,” made by Julia Pavone and Mark Dixon, which includes the Pablo Neruda poem, “Aqui.”

And as long as we’re doing follow-up posts, here’s another. We have previously mentioned the Sidewalk Poetry Project in Northfield, Minnesota. This year, the project’s third, eight local poets had their poems selected from a field of 121 submissions and will have their poems added to the growing collection. More on the City of Northfield website.
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Photo by Richard Messina, The Courant

more poetry boxes…

August 24, 2013

Ana Flores poetry box

We’ve written before about poetry boxes, which are cropping up in neighborhoods everywhere. The artist Ana Flores is creating poetry boxes “to engage communities with their landscape through poetry, art and hiking.” In southern Rhode Island, Colorado Springs and Mystic, Connecticut, Ana Flores works with local residents to build and install boxes that contain “poems about nature and a journal for public response.”

Read more about Poetry of the Wild and Ana Flores, including an article in September/October 2013 issue of Poets & Writers.
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Thanks to Susan J. Erickson for the heads-up on Ana Flores.

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