This post is part of a weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. If you know of found poetry related news, resources or events that should be featured here, please email News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell.
I can’t think of a better way to commemorate 2013 than by incorporating the Words of the Year into found poetry. There are varying opinions on the English language Word of the Year, along with winners and runners-up. Nations, news sources and dictionary companies all want a piece of the action in naming the Word of the Year. Whether or not you agree with their perspectives, you will probably agree that their content is ripe for found poetry. Dive in, create, revise, submit, enjoy!
In November, Stanford University held its first Code Poetry Slam. What is code poetry? I thought this quote from Melissa Kagen described it best: “It can be a piece of text that can be read as code and run as program, but also read as poetry. It can mean a human language poetry that has mathematical elements and codes in it, or even code that aims for elegant expression within severe constraints, like a haiku or a sonnet, or code that generates automatic poetry. Poems that are readable to humans and readable to computers perform a kind of cyborg double coding.” Code poetry can be, but isn’t limited to, found poetry. And like found poetry, code poetry has multiple dimensions to be considered by the reader. If you’re not into coding, you can always paste your poem into this website to hear it back in computer speak.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation’s Record-A-Poem project, recently put out an open call for recorded readings of an except from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” While this nineteenth-century poem isn’t a found poem, the BAM reading is a found reading. It’s a riveting collage of readers blended together to bring this familiar and harrowing poem to life. Check out the video here.
Making its way around the internet this holiday season is a poem titled “The Computer’s First Christmas Card” by Scottish poet Edwin Morgan. The poem was part of a book titled Anthology of Concrete Poetry, published by Something Else Press in 1967 and edited by Emmett Williams. The poem is a great example of an early conceptual work, and it’s a fun piece to share around the holidays. Enjoy!