Thursday, August 29, 2013

Poetry of the Wild, Weathered Pages, and the Improbable Places Poetry Tour Means Poetry is Alive

Poetry Box and Poem by Ana Flores
I've been wanting to explore the intersection of poetry and art for awhile. Perhaps this is my new love: the overlapping of poetry with sculpture, painting, and performance.

This is a subject that my forthcoming book Cloud Pharmacy will explore and until then, I'll blog about different projects I come across that blend poetry and the visual arts or performance or seem to create something new altogether.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour + 1 is a project in Seattle, WA that takes its inspiration from Colleen Michaels who lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Colleen works at Montserrat Art College and along with her students, organizes the Improbable Places Poetry Tour in places as improbable as a laundry mat, flower shop, and auto mechanic's garage. The evening features local poets that write on the theme of the space and there's also an open mike. After several years of phenomenal success, Colleen is in the enviable position of having local businesses contact her. The events bring local businesses, students, and community people together all in the name of poetry. How cool is that?

Perhaps there is something in the waters off Massachusetts because Ana Flores' work also comes from my home state. However, her work is also in many other states as well. Recently, Poets and Writers featured an article on the poetry boxes that Anna creates and then places out in the wild and in public spaces.

Finally, Weathered Pages is as simple an idea as it is elegant. In Yakima, WA a pole on Dan Peters road invited poets to post their work or just to stop by and read a poem. Poets from all over the country and the world came by and shared their work. The result is that Blue Begonia Press has now created an anthology of this work--- before the rain washes it away.

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