Friday, April 22, 2011

Rothenberg Interview/diGiorno Collages/Age vs Success/Coletti Book/Art Exhibit

Ed Coletti Interviews Michael Rothenberg founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change


Q: Michael, how did you dream up this ambitious project?

A: Two months ago I was chatting with a friend on Facebook, complaining about the world, and I said in desperation, "There ought to be 100 Thousand Poets for Change!" My friend replied, "That's a good idea." So I created an event page on Facebook asking my Facebook friends if they would be interested in a demonstration/ celebration of poetry to promote serious social and political change?

Q: How many countries are now involved in staging poetry events on (what's the date?)?

A: So far 170 cities and 44 countries have signed on to organize events on September 24. Nearly 100 events in the USA!

Q: How many total venues.


A: I estimate the number of venues at around 200 venues to date. In Cincinnati there will be a "crawl" down Main Street from shop to shop, an hour poetry reading in each shop. So there might be 8 venues in Cincinnati but I am not counting those! In the Bay Area there are 10 venues.

Q: What are some of the more surprising examples? (I'm going to say something like only Jupiter and Saturn not staging events)

A: Yesterday I signed on a world famous bookstore Al Kotob Khan in Cairo, Egypt. We have had very positive response from African nations, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and South Africa. And the Slam community is into the event in a big way. They are calling their events SLAM FOR CHANGE, participants include Oakland Slam poets, Austin Poetry Slam, Hilo, Hawaii slam, Boise, Idaho, Spokane Poetry Slam and Thess Poetry Slam in Athens, Greece. I expect there will be many more.

Q: Most heartwarming response?

A: I received a video in my email from Limerick, Ireland. It was a recording of a gathering of The Whitehouse Poets where they announced their decision to participate in a global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and expressed their desire to be the center of this movement for all of Ireland. I also liked to hear from a group in Canada who are not poets but want to read poetry about political and social change on September 24. And I am inspired by the planned gathering of the most famous poets in Bangladesh, Nirmolendu goon, Joyonta deb, Aditto anik, and Syed Shamshul hoque in Bogra, Bangladesh for September 24.


Q: Funniest response or reaction thus far?
Someone told me they weren't interested in the program because they liked to keep their poetry and politics separate.

Q: How are you coping? Are you sure you're doing enough?

A: Sigh. It is inspiring and exhausting. I am drawn in by the enthusiasm of others. I never feel that I have done enough.

Q: I was joking. I admire you for the amount of effort you put into helping poetry count both with this and your previous Katrina projects.

CORE SAMPLE 2


We want to live like movie stars

We don't trust politicians but still

Let them run our lives

What's another landfill of radios at 20 ft

Computers at 10ft. Poetry at five

Polyurethane embryos and vinyl blood

Take a sample, smear it on a slide

Bombard it with laser, atoms, literary criticism

Snow falls in Sierras 3 inches per hour

Chains required on major passes

Too late to turn back

(Michael Rothenberg 1999)

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net, and I can post it.

The Joy!

Bay Area Poet Geri diGiorno also is a wonderful portrait collagist currently being featured at Big Bridge. Here's the link to Geri diGiorno collages.


Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net, and I can post it.


The Horror!



Check this out from Poets & Writers study "The Anatomy of Awards." Of 1,064 contest winners, 129 won prizes resulting in the publication of a full-length book. Of the winners aged 65+, a mere 4 percent prevailed! What do you conclude?





Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net, and I can post it.






In case you missed this on the P3, I'm very proud of the book and will repeat this here in "No Money in Poetry."


Coming Out in June!!!


Double-Click on Cover to Enlarge (so you can read review blurbs)




















June Painting Exhibit

Double-Click to Enlarge
























Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net, and I can post it.

3 comments:

Arlene Mandell said...

A great many poetry contests are designed to give recent MFA graduates a shot at winning something and getting a bit of money and 25 chapbooks. It is fairly easy to figure this out: check the bios of previous winners of whatever contest you are thinking of entering.

Many of our best area poets, who are over 50, 60, 70 and yes, even 80, are unlikely to win these competitions because:
a. We don't have, want or need MFA degrees.
b. We are not interested in the latest poetry trendlets. [A new word, but you know what it means.]
c. Our subject matter seldom includes having unsafe sex while balanced on the handlebars of a speeding motorcycle.

But there is hope. The recent Bibliophoria Poetry Chapbook contest, for example, yielded 74 entries. I was the coordinator and it was a blind judging, but later, when Gwynn O'Gara chose the winners, I had to match names with manuscript numbers and recognized quite a few seasoned poets. The winners have been announced on the Bibliophoria website - www.bibliophoria.com - and the reading/celebration has been scheduled for Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m. at Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol.

I don't know/have never meet the winners, Lin Max, John Johnson and Susan Adams, but from the content of their work, I'm guessing they've been in the world for a while.

So do a little research before you send your precious words and $25 checks. Read in local venues, support other poets, walk in the forest, enjoy who you are and where you are.

Arlene L. Mandell
(whose first poem was published in The New York Times when she was 48 years old)

Duncan said...

Is it necessary for a poet to win? I can see that winning a contest can add to a resume, but does a poet need/want a resume? I'm not for or against entering contests, I do all the time in my favorite pastime. Perhaps it's just a necessary evil, how else does a poet get recognition?

Anonymous said...

Eddie- I almost didn't read this (not much time with 11 pups squealing & their Mom hungry). But I wanted you to know I do often read & enjoy your blog. You are very good at drawing people out- I appreciate your skill as an interviewer. And I loved our lunch last surgery; you have a way of making people feel special. Congrats again on Kathleen (PHD) & Kathleen (baby bump!).
Love, Nancy