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Free Poetry Epidemic

by Staff


Tags: Guerilla Poetics Project, Poets and Writers, contemporary poets, guerilla poetry, free poetry,

Be warned fair reader! A grift is afoot at the nation's bookstores and libraries, and it goes something like this: One moment you're innocently flipping through a copy of Bukowski's Pulp at the local Barnes & Noble. Then, what's this? A small card inside? You glance at its enchanting print and, before you know it, you're enjoying a fresh, new poem by a relatively unknown contemporary poet.

Ellen Moynihan reports on the Guerilla Poetics Project (GPP) in the latest issue Poets & Writers. The outfit describes itself on its website as "a well oiled machine made up of fully rested and competent... wait, no, hang on, we're actually a ramshackle bunch of poets, artists, and madmen with a crazy idea to further the reach of the small press where great writing languishes in minor obscurity."

This secret society is covertly infiltrating book locales to seed targeted books with their small-press poems, providing an encroaching threat to the "undeservedly endowed" poets of academia and commercial literature magnates everywhere. After reading the poems, unwitting patrons can flip over the cards to enjoy a portion of the GPP's free poetry manifesto, which requests that readers aid and abet them by registering the discovery of said poem on the GPP website. (Enjoy a few of the dangerously lovely and novel designs on offer, such as these cards featuring the work of C. Allen Rearick, Justin Barrett and Charles P. Ries.)

This free poetry epidemic is spreading; poems have been found across Canada, Europe, and the United States. Warns the GPP manifesto: "We are putting the world on notice: we are here; we are writing; and we want your attention. If you're not willing to give us your attention, then we will take it from you. We will be heard. Are you listening?" —Jason Ericson