Finders Keepers: Celebrities, Legends and Originality

ArthurFeature

By News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell. Send me your found poetry news.


Bigfoot for Women

BFFWI’m in the middle of moving, but as soon as I get settled I’m planning to read Amy Pickworth’s new book of poetry, Bigfoot for Women. I was fortunate enough to hear Pickworth read from the book earlier this year in Providence, and it was inspiring to listen to how she found and utilized a wide variety of source texts to create erasures, remixes, Google poems and rewrites to create the collection. My favorite technique is Pickworth’s choice to replace nouns in certain texts with the word “Bigfoot.” It’s surprising how transformative a word replacement can be. If you’re searching for Bigfoot, or just a great book of poetry, you can find Bigfoot for Women here.

He’s back, the old wanderer, that proto-dude, Bigfoot, and he’s as elusive as ever in the lyric wilds and shifting legends of Amy Pickworth’s marvelous poetry debut. For all the zip and multi-layered textuality of her method, Pickworth displays one of the deepest, rarest lyric tactics: I mean, wit — not snark, not sass, not easy sarcasm or hip avoidance. I mean complex, goodwilled, richly felt and joyful seriousness in her investigations of identity, gender, selfhood, and story. We may never capture the wily old wild-man, but in Bigfoot for Women, right in our midst, we’ve found a fine new poet. –David Baker

Jaden & Willow Smith Poetry Generator

Considering how much you like random celebrities, and how much you like internet poetry generators, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll totally be into the Jaden & Willow Smith Poetry Generator. Here’s a masterpiece I compiled after hitting the “Random” button:

UntitledI’m looking so sick

thinking of something sad:

quantum physics,

my artistic journey,

an apple.

What’s your job?

Alergy to Originality

If Bigfoot and celebrity teenagers aren’t enough to satiate your desire for gossip and legend, here’s a controversy involving Helen Keller, Mark Twain and plagiarism: Allergy to Originality: Mark Twain and the Remix Nature of All Creative Work, Animated.

The idea that everything is a remix is far from radical — it was pondered by Henry Miller, used by Johannes Gutenberg, abused by Duke Ellington, and championed by Pete Seeger, among countless other instances revealing that all creative work builds on what came before.

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