Friday, September 2, 2011

Poetic Relief: How Poets Can Help Storm Relief

This entry today is on-the-fly (please pardon my rush), and will be to the point. Poets can and should take action in ways that relieve and express in words daily circumstances, ordinary and extraordinary. Here in Vermont, the symbols of overnight change are more than visible; storm "Irene" left many villages, towns, cities without roads, bridges, and cultural landmarks. Here's what I propose artists do (in one form or another):

This is an idea for poetic action (or insert your art here), to help storm relief (in this current example).

1). A small ensemble of poets will take turns giving short readings while diners eat.

The idea is to collaborate with local cafes and restaurants ("poetry is good food!") to "host" an hour or two of short readings. Guests would be made aware that this is a *relief event* and tables would have the opportunity to designate a 10% - 100% (a
match) sliding scale donation upon ordering. (If a table of four orders $100. worth of food and drink, and they declare they'd like to donate 25% to the relief effort, then the relief effort collects twenty-five dollars.) The most anyone would be *asked* to contribute would be 10% (after/on top of/ tip).

Poets would enliven the place and we'd hope to pack these venues with sympathetic patrons through social media alerts.

This can happen with minimal organizing--which is why I suggest poets and others try to help in this way. The "Poetic Relief" could be on town hall stage, also: Free and open to the public (pass the hat, or bid on a poem [accept multiple bids!]) or with a donation at the door. Improvised music could accompany readings & recitations.

"811" is the one of the library designations for poetry. I suggest some of us try to make something happen this Thursday, the 8th (9/ 8 11). Communities are still without water, roads and bridges. "Everywhere mess is mess/completes the beauty."

Good luck. May the poetic restore that which is necessary within us.