Finders Keepers: Time Travel

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


Kenneth Goldsmith Jumps the Pond

On Thursday, June 11th, Kenneth Goldsmith joined the participants of the 46th Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A video of the opening ceremonies for the even is available here.

With the advent of the internet and other digital possibilities, the idea of a text’s authenticity has become increasingly strained, something Goldsmith adds to through his advocacy for uncreative writing, writing by appropriating existent texts, like in his work Day, in which he copied the complete text of an edition of the New York Times, publishing it in a book. Goldsmith also founded and curates UbuWeb. He teaches poetics and poetical practices, and also works as music critic at New York Press, and as DJ at the New York radio station, WFMU. French poet Pierre Alferi joins Goldsmith in conversation on conceptual writing, presenting his own take on its possibilities and limits.

The Found Poetry of Clouds

cloudsWhat do you get when you translate a 17th century Czech philosopher’s annotations from a drawing of clouds into English? Found poetry, of course! More here.

Poetry has a place and a time for itself, though I’ve never really understood it. Most of the poetry that speaks to me is probably required to have qualifier punctuation marks, like “poetry”–it is the poetry in found and established situations, unintentional poetry, free-range poetry that fits a peculiar geometry. Not that this is poetry to many other people, and I certainly don’t mean disrespect in volunteering volunteer word strings as poetical devices, but sometimes it just works–like explaining a Joseph Cornell assembly, some arrangements just work well together because they do. 

E. Kristen Anderson Returns to Her Roots

Author, poet and FPR contributing editor E. Kristin Anderson recently visited her high school in Westbrook, CT where she talked to students about writing, poetry, being a teenager and other topics. Read on here.

Some of the questions I got were about writing and publishing, but the best questions were about creating art. I felt especially privileged to be able to read some work by the students who stayed after the sessions to share it with me. Students from the middle school entrusted me with a copy of their own literary magazine, “Eraser Shavings.” One student told me she struggled with depression and thanked me for being open about my own struggle, then snapped a selfie with me. That’s extremely special, and it makes everything I’ve ever been through worth it.

Jenni B. Baker Gets Scientific

The literary magazine Quarterly West recently featured several unique erasure poems by FPR Editor-in-Chief Jenni B. Baker. Check out how she transforms science into poetry here.

I start with sources as diverse as product packaging, junk mail, newspapers and literary texts, excerpting words and phrases that I then erase and weave into new poems. In the resulting works, disparate pieces comprise a whole that differs from, responds to or elucidates the source text.

20th Century Typeface Demos

typefaceTake a strangely poetic journey back in time to 1910 through these typeface demos featured at Slate Magazine.

This collection of type specimen pages, published in 1910 by the Keystone Type Foundry of Philadelphia, demonstrates the appearance of the company’s type when used to produce headlines of various sizes. In the foundry’s choice of demonstration headlines, a strangely poetic vision of daily life in 1910 emerges. 

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