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 believe that found poetry and collage are close cousins. There are similarities in their processes, and in both genres the artists take existing material and transform it into something entirely different. This week, I came across two sets of collages shared by online literary journals that I felt were worth sharing with you. First, one of my favorite places online, Empty Mirror, shared a series of collages by Irina and Silviu Szekely that bring out the weird in art history. Second, Verse Kraken shared a series of strange collages by Hugo Barros (aka Mesineto). I hope you find some inspiration in the images.
This week, I received an article stating that Bob Dylan appropriated many of the phrases, references and stories in his memoir Chronicles. “Researchers say they’ve uncovered more than 1,000 items lifted from other authors in Dylan’s Chronicles.” While these claims have caused controversy among some Dylan fans hoping that their idol’s stories were pure rock-and-roll truth, I ask, does it matter? As a folk artist, Dylan borrowed, made and remade dozens of songs. That doesn’t make him a thief. It makes him a stop on the long train of artistic influence. So, if Dylan curated decades of stories and passages into a memoir of a life that evokes a sense of American awe, does that make his writing any less important than if he had lived it exactly and penned each letter himself? I think not. Weigh in if you’re so inclined.
Thanks to Margo Roby, I was introduced to this great little website. The Educational Training and Technology Center’s Instant Poetry Forms lets you create dozens of different types of poems by simply adding the words to their templates. The website functions similarly to an online Mad Lib and is great fun. I created this poem in true Oulipo (remember that?) fashion by using words from a news article and ETTC’s “Animals Go to School” template:
I came across an iron man
On the way to school
His suit was very liquid
And his exoskeleton was very bulletproof
I hid him in my science fiction novel
So that teacher would not see
He stayed there very quietly
Until frightened by a tweet