dial up some poetry

July 30, 2020

If you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue, here’s something a little different: the Poetry Society of America and Saint Flashlight present a dial-a-poem project: Calling the World. It’s pretty simple. You dial (212) 202-5606 and press one of the extensions (1 – 9) to listen to a selection of poetry.

Calling the World was created in response to the isolation brought about by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Initiated prior to the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, Calling the World showcases an international group of voices ─ African, Asian, Caribbean, European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern ─ and encourages us to look outside our national boundaries as we reconnect with the world. This touch-tone anthology drawn from the Poetry Society of America’s rich audio archives reminds us that poetry’s truths have no borders.

Visit Calling the World for more information and a list of poets.

315 times a whisper

May 1, 2015

Satellite Collective - TelephoneYesterday’s post mentioned ekphrasis, in which the paintings of Jacob Lawrence served as inspiration for poems. Today’s post continues the theme with TELEPHONE, a project of the Satellite Collective in New York.

Based on the child’s game in which one person whispers a word or phrase to the next person, then it travels around the circle and is spoken aloud (often to great hilarity), this “game” invited its first participants to respond, in their chosen medium, to a Breton fisherman’s prayer, “Oh God thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” From there, additional artists and writers responded to that person’s interpretation, and so on.

The results are presented in a beautifully conceived website that “presents 315 original and interconnected works in 18 different art forms, created specifically for this experiment by artists from 159 cities in 42 countries.” Enjoy.

Want more on ekphrastic poetry? Watch “Pintura/Palabra: Poetry Inspired by Art,” a talk by poets Brenda Cárdenas and Valerie Martínez on the Library of Congress website.

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