spring poem

April 9, 2019

An apt poem for spring by Rabindranath Tagore. It appears on a bench at the Dublin Zoo, as beautifully photographed by Diego Lopez. More about Tagore’s connection with Ireland, and more specifically with W.B. Yeats, here.

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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.

meanwhile, in Trafalgar Square

September 21, 2018

If you happen to be in London as you read this post, hurry over to Trafalgar Square to see “Please Feed the Lions,” an installation by artist Es Devlin that fuses design, poetry, and machine learning. Painted a hard-to-ignore fluorescent red, the piece invites passersby to “feed” the lion a word and then uses a deep learning algorithm developed by Ross Goodwin, creative technologist at Google, to compose a poem, which appears on a display in the lion’s mouth. At night, the poem’s evolving text is projected across the body of the lion and on Nelson’s Column.

Part of the London Design Festival, the interactive work will be on display through Sunday, September 23, 2018, only. Read more about the project and the lion’s daily poem on Google Arts & Culture.

signs of poetry

July 24, 2017

Australian poet and artist Richard Tipping makes artworks that incorporate his own poetic texts — cryptic, subversive, humorous, and often public. His “Signed Signs,” including Private Poetry, are road sign lookalikes. Fun.

We’ve mentioned the Seattle Center Poetry Garden before and mention it here again since there is a new exhibit in the peaceful outdoor space. In honor of Festál, which celebrates 20 years of cultural programming with a year-long series of events, artist Jennifer Szabo has entwined the garden’s trees with colored string to create a new physical and metaphorical space. The exhibit will remain on display through August 4, 2017. Szabo is one of five artists creating temporary works for the Poetry Garden between February 2017 and May 2018.

signs of the times

March 19, 2017

Meanwhile, in San Antonio… Word Around Town is a public art project created by Jennifer Khoshbin. She has installed two illuminated signs in the yards of corner houses; the signs display a micropoem on each side. The initial set of poems (uncredited on the signs) comes from poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Jenny Browne, current poet laureate of San Antonio. Khoshbin anticipates that other poets will contribute works in the coming weeks.

Read about Word Around Town in The Rivard Report.
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photo by Bonnie Arbittier

on the drawing board

November 10, 2016

Bjarke Ingels Group

The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm, BIG, were commissioned to design 2WTC, the last of four buildings to border the 9/11 Memorial Park in New York City. The structure is currently completed only to street level, but the drawings can be viewed online.

Of the many options for the building’s main entry, it’s interesting and heartening to see that the designers chose poetry to adorn the huge wall. In what looks (from the rendering) to be illuminated letters, there are three lines from the opening stanza and four lines from the eleventh verse of Walt Whitman’s “Salut au Monde” from Leaves of Grass.

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