It’s National Poetry Month and the city of Woodstock, Illinois, is going all out, thanks to the inspired leadership of the Atrocious Poets. A poetry collective of “writers, accidental typewriter connoisseurs, and appreciators of the offbeat who look for ways to bring poetry into the streets of this strange and beautiful town,” Atrocious Poets are creating a month-long celebration of poetry, using the verse of Illinois native Carl Sandburg as theme and inspiration.

Events include discussions, workshops, readings, writings, a guided poetry walk, poetry displays, poetry “in the wild” (in shop windows, hanging from tree branches, on coffee sleeves, on restaurant menus), and much more. There will also be a collaborative poem: “Look for our typewriters around town, and stop and add a line or two to OUR poem.”

More Atrocious Poets on Facebook, Twitter @atrocious_poets, and Instagram.

Atrocious Poets, we like your attitude!

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keys-a-clacking

March 6, 2018

It has been a while since we mentioned typewriter poetry, but here’s a terrific addition to the collection: a program for youth, grades 7 to 12, at the Newton, Massachusetts, Free Library. Once a month, Typewriter Poetry group members gather to compose poems for visiting library patrons. See more in Wicked Local Newton.

and speaking of obsession…

December 6, 2017

We recently posted about the film California Typewriter. Then, purely by chance, we stumbled across Pop Chart Lab, a Brooklyn-based company that researches, designs, and prints posters on a dazzling array of topics, including typewriters!

That’s not their only venture into the literary. Pop Chart also features A Pop Culture Primer on Parts of Speech, A Plotting of Fiction Genres, A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels, and a Sentence Diagram Set, among many, many others.

Visit Pop Chart Lab online, on Facebook, on Instagram, and all the other places.

now showing

November 26, 2017

The subject of typewriters, and especially the poets who favor them in public, has been a recurring theme here at The Poetry Department. Poetry on film is another. While the new documentary California Typewriter does not purport to be about poetry (it does include poets Silvi Alcivar and Darren Wershler), it celebrates a favored writing tool as object, muse, and even obsession. The Los Angeles Times calls the film “rich, thoughtful, meticulously crafted.” California Typewriter is screening in theaters nationwide.

Typewriter Troubadour by Andrea Corradini

Now and then we like to update you on the practice of making poetry in public that has rescued typewriters from extinction and given voice to numerous poets. Here are a few additions to the list:

What’s happening on your keyboard?

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Typewriter Troubadour photo by Andrea Corradini

such a good idea…

May 5, 2015

Poetry in Motion: The Poet Is In

It’s over, so don’t get too excited, but oh, to have been there… When poets leave their nests, typewriter in hand, anything can happen. For lucky New Yorkers who happened through Fulton Center between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on April 23, it was Poetry in Motion: The Poet is IN.

During those hours, with musical accompaniment, “an array of award-winning poets, including NY State Poet Laureate Marie Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sharon Olds, and Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Café, will sit in a booth (inspired by Lucy’s booth from the Peanuts comic strip) and write poems for those who request one.” Sponsored/produced by the Poetry Society of America in partnership with the MTA Arts & Design, the day’s events were part of MTA’s Poetry in Motion program, which, since 1992, has been placing poems in subway and rail cars, on kiosks, on the back of MetroCards and elsewhere.

Read more on the MTA site or listen to the story from NPR.

more fun with typewriters

December 9, 2014

Typewriter Poetry

We’ve posted before on the subject of have-typewriter-will-poem. This sort of free-range poem-making is giving a second life to a lot of sidelined typewriters, putting a few dollars into the pockets of poets and bringing personalized poetry to people who might never expect such a thing. Here are a few additions to the poem-makers:

  • Billimarie, pictured above, travels around with her pink Royal and blogs at Typewriter Poetry.
  • Matthew Rowe conducts his improvisational poetry performances at art gallery openings, monthly art walks, book releases, author’s readings, craft and farmers’ markets, weddings, birthday parties and other social gatherings and private events in Seattle. Find him at Poem Shop.
  • William Curtis and Trip Waterhouse ply their trade at the farmers markets in the U District and Ballard (Seattle) and at Capitol Hill bars in the evening. Read Danielle Palmer-Friedman’s article about them in The Daily and see more about William the Poet.
  • Ryan Ashley Knowles and his Smith-Corona make poems around the San Francisco area. Find out more at Untouched Poetry.
  • Abigail Mott has given up her blue and white Underwood for a Smith-Corona and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for Denver, Colorado, but she’s still typing out new poems and posting some of them on Pick a Subject, Get a Poem.

Happy typing!
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