We wrote poems on two Tuesdays at a pop-up vineyard in the middle of midtown Atlanta, part of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and “the first of its kind in the U.S.” Forbes magazine described it as “help[ing] to shorten the knowledge gap between [the foodie] audience and urban agriculture, including Atlanta’s 350 or so urban farms and community gardens, many of which are located in lower-income neighborhoods and go unseen by even the most ardent food and wine enthusiasts.” Free Poems takes a similar approach: we shorten the gap between poetry as a food tasted by the few and a taste for anyone to enjoy.
We really enjoyed being amid the growing vines and adding poetry-making to the bucolic scene.
Our presence there was thanks to the Hambidge Creative Residency Program: we appreciate their kindness towards Free Poems! Jimmy and I (both Hambidge fellows) and Robin wrote poems on June 7th, and here they are:
Jimmy and I also wrote poems on June 28th:
Atlanta Streets Alive is one of our favorite events, and this time is no exception. We were once again set up on Peachtree Street close to Ellis. We had a bit of rain early on, but thankfully it stopped and we were able to continue writing poems! Inspired by the rain! Jon and Zac joined me.
This is the second year we’ve done the Atlanta Zine Fest, which is an awesome event featuring many DIY artists, writers, and makers. The event is organized by Murmur Media, and held at Murmur Gallery, Mammal Gallery, and Eyedrum in downtown Atlanta. Jon and Zac joined me, and at one point we were able to recruit Naya, who sat in and wrote me a poem on the topic of “tattoo ideas” (hopefully she’ll join us again). Many of the poems we wrote were for other artists and zine makers, and I felt a good energy and inspiration from all the creative topics.
Last year we created an on-the-spot zine featuring poems we wrote that same day. This year, I decided to make a promo video, (look for it soon) so with all the camera work going on, we decided to skip the same-day-zine idea. We were able to produce a zine (though not from the same day) by curating some of our best poems from our first five events in 2010. These were available at our table, and will also soon be available online too.
Without further ado, here are photos from AZF2016:
Festive Friday is a day of music, food, and fun at the tucked-away Zonolite Park. We were joined by Judy Henson, who has not written for us before, but she seems to be a natural! See some of the poems we wrote by clicking on the photos below:
We were honored to be invited back to perform at the Hambidge Auction, a benefit to support the Hambidge Creative Residency (check them out if you haven’t already). Zac and Allison joined me this time, and we wrote for five hours with only a short break in the middle. The topics ranged from sweet (“50th Wedding Anniversary”) to not so sweet (“Dental Dams”), but we had fun and enjoyed talking to everyone who came by. Check out our poems below:
Jon and I wrote at Atlanta Streets Alive on Peachstree Street this past Sunday. We got a disproportionate number of requests from businessmen in town for a conference where they were looking for various items on a scavenger hunt, and somehow we became part of their search. Other than that, it was a rather pleasant day of writing poems. You can see the results for yourself below:
Yesterday Alyssa, Zac, and I wrote Free Poems for Streets Alive — certainly one of our favorite events. This was Alyssa’s first foray into Free Poems, and she did great!
We have a number of Streets Alive regulars, and it is a treat to write a poem for them every time.
We wrote poems on “Mystical Caves and Mushrooms,” “Gonorrhea,” “Deportation,” “Spooky Skeletons,” “Sesquipedalians,” “Donald Trump for President,” and many other demanding topics. Here are some photos, including just about all of the 70 or so poems we wrote.
We wrote free poems at the Atlanta Zine Fest this past Saturday, July 18, 2015. The event was organized by Murmur Media and hosted at Murmur, Mammal, and Eyedrum. I was really impressed by all the creators, artists, writers, and zine-sters who showed up.
In keeping with the theme of zines and DIY-goodness, we decided to make a zine out of the poems we wrote and have the zine produced and available for participants by the end of the day. How did we do it? As soon as we wrote a poem, we sent it (via text) to our dedicated zine-ster Jon Ciliberto, who was stationed in an [as yet undisclosed] location. Jon printed out our poems and cobbled together a zine, and then delivered the zine to our FPOD table only hours after we wrote our first poem:
Here’s the PDF of the zine. You may also read it on Issuu.
Zac and Nisa showed up a little late, so unfortunately many of their poems weren’t sent to Jon in time for publication in the zine. But we do have photos of their poems, which you can check out below.
Apart from an amazing rainstorm (which did not deter us), everything went as smoothly as we could have hoped! AZF was great and we hope to do it again next year.
My friend Catherine Moore had a booth at the Atlanta Cycling Festival Closing Bash today and was nice enough to let me write free poems there.
Here are a few of the demands I was able to (hopefully) satisfy:
Our favorite Eftenpoet (see above) came back for the weekend, so Jon and I decided to make an event of it. It was Friday, May 22, and we hopped on the Marta during morning rush hour. Truth be told, we were rather late, and missed the crowdy-crowds, but there were still enough late comers to write poems for. We wrote on many topics, particularly love, love, love, and more love (OK we wrote many different poems on one topic). There were other topics too, like “life”… Interesting anecdotes from this event:
- a good samaritan came up to us after refusing our offer for free poems and told us that what we were doing was not allowed on the Marta! We informed him that we were not asking for money, and that the poems were entirely free. He said that this was still not allowed! And that he will report us to the authorities! Thank your lucky stars that this man is riding the Marta and keeping your best interests in mind. I don’t know what we’d do without him (oh, I know… continue writing poems?)
- a woman requested a poem on the topic of “my man”… then she thought better of it and changed it (wisely) to “my kids”
- several really enthusiastic demanders, always grateful to them. We love writing poems on the train, it’s a different experience than at festivals. People are more surprised, and thus more delighted (if they are receptive to that kind of thing) or more angry (if they are not)