Finders Keepers: Poetry By Any Other Name


Poet Sarah Sousa and ‘Speaking for the Voiceless’

Sarah Sousa’s poetry collections Split this Crow and Church of Needles both operate based on research and original source material in order to “give voice to long ago oppressed people” “from captive settler Mary Rowlandson to Native Americans in the earliest days of American history.” The Greenfield, MA Recorder interviewed Sousa about her poetry and process. Sousa will also be teaching a found poetry workshop in June as part of the Squam Art Workshops in Rhode Island. Sousa says:

Very few poems are born whole from the poet’s brain; there are found aspects in all poetry…Perhaps an overheard conversation or song is what sparks the imagination. Or, maybe the inspiration begins from a glance at graffiti, snatches of text, discarded notes, advertisements, lists, letters, an old diary entry … the source material is endless. The key is to stop and notice how found material can be juxtaposed with other found material, or altered in some way to create something new.

Silent Poetry

The Flying Words Project poetry troupe performed American Sign Language poetry at Vassar College recently:

Different from English poems, which em­brace aural rhymes and rhythms, ASL poetry replies on the visual rhyme of handshapes, hand movements and body languages.

Vassar’s student newspaper describes the silent poetry event on campus where minds were blown. See a sample of ASL performance Peter Cook performing here.

Dance Poetry

We’ve seen Christian Bök‘s Eunoia adapted for the stage in Denise Fujiwara’s dance production, in which she adapts Bök’s formal rules into her choreography. This month, Santa Monica choreographer Donna Sternberg’s dance company explored “how dance, music and poetry can interact.”

Rijksmuseum Invites Remix

Rijksmuseum, The Museum of the Netherlands, held a contest last April inviting artists “to get inspired by the Rijksmuseum’s collection and create your own design using Rijksstudio.” That is, you can create your own account and remix artworks from the museum’s collection online. Here is what the winner’s of this year’s contest made.

With Rijksstudio, 200,000 artworks are presented in close-up for you to zoom in on, to touch, to “Like”, and to use in your own creations. Collect your favourite works in your own Rijksstudio, share them with friends or download them free of charge and make your own artwork.

New York Jets Poetry

By the way, the Jets quarterbacks recite original poetry to each other before kick-off.


Photo of Batsheva Dance Company by David Shankbone.

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