Tweetspeak Poetry is dedicated to tipping the balance between “established poets” being the main source of poetry and poetry access, versus a situation where excellent poetry can be loved, created, and encountered in ordinary life.
To that end, we support and highlight programs that take 5 vital approaches:
1. Teach it like it’s alive.
When something lives, it doesn’t sit by passively, allowing us to poke and prod it or, as Billy Collins puts it “[beat] it with a hose.” It defies classification, labeling, laying out of itself like a “patient etherized upon a table.” It might talk back, run away, ask us to return later once it’s had its morning coffee. Pardon our metaphors, but this is the bottom-line: we need to stop teaching poetry using grim methodology. We should ask poetry, instead, to turn us on our heads.
2. Bring it home.
As long as “poetry at home” is the occasional greeting card or the back of a clever cereal box, we’ve got poetry problems. Not that honey-oats ever hurt anyone, but if that’s the extent of the average person’s proximity to poetry (and not very good poetry at that), what are the chances it will be truly accessible to the mind and heart? It’s time to find creative ways to bring poetry home.
3. Transport it.
As we make our way to work or play, we ride. Buses, planes, subways, or inside personal vehicles. Poetry can come along. Radio programs (this was among Gioia’s once-radical ideas), placards, posters. And if we’ve begun to value poetry because it’s also accompanying us in more lively ways starting in school and at home, we might be more inclined to pay attention.
4. Paint it in the public square.
That which we value and seek to preserve and communicate, we highlight in our public spaces. Why not paint poetry on buildings (and maybe even encourage this among street artists)? For a less citified experience, there is always poetry for the byways. It might also be intriguing to consider what the “public squares” of the Internet are. (Hey, Yahoo and Google, are you up for poetry?)
5. Take it to work.
Celebrations like Poetry at Work Day and Take Your Poet to Work Day, as well as inbox deliveries like Every Day Poems, inspire people to take poetry to work, to make it a meditative experience to help solve conflicts or create focus and innovation, or simply to have fun.
Businesses might have their own goals. “‘I used to tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers, ‘” The New York Times reported of Sidney Harman, “founder of Harman Industries, a $3 billion producer of sound systems for luxury cars, theaters and airports.”
To share an event, project, or initiative you think would make a good potential feature within “the five” here at Tweetspeak Poetry, please use our Contact Form.
We promise to explore your recommendation but will only get in touch with you if we need clarification.
Whether a project gets highlighted will be the decision of the editors, and due to limited resources we will not provide notification as to the decision and do appreciate your understanding in this regard. We look forward to highlighting many wonderful events, initiatives, and projects!
Poetry for Life Projects & Features
Teach it Like It’s Alive
Top 10 Reasons to Give a Teacher ‘How to Read a Poem’
How to Write a Poem in the Classroom
Bring it Home
Mind’s Eye Poetry: Rewriting Dementia
Poetry on Buses, Charlottesville, VA
Paint it in the Public Square
Language of the Birds, San Francisco
Take it to Work