By News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell. Send me your found poetry news.
In her new collection, If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?, Matthea Harvey explores a variety of poetic forms, from a Shakespearean sonnet to an erasure of a Ray Bradbury story. The book was reviewed last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s blog Tap.
To create the erasure poem “M Is for Martian,” probably this collection’s most accessible work, Harvey took the text of Ray Bradbury’s short story “R Is for Rocket” and whited-out more than 95% of the words. What she kept to create her own poem of first contact must be read across the original story’s seven pages a few words at a time, like listening to slow transmissions from distant Voyager 1.
Her work, dubbed “found poetry,” uses short blocks of text cut from magazines and organized into readable collage. The results are concise, powerful poems – witty, poignant and surprising – that are also beautiful to the eye.
Shakespeare’s sonnets seem to everywhere this summer. I feel like I can’t get away from them. This, however, is the silliest version of the sonnets I’ve encountered. If you’re as much of a sucker for pop music and hair metal as I am, you’re going to love Pop Sonnets!