About three years ago RM had a little post that sounded to me like a poem -- and so much better than the millions of war poems we were getting as submissions to Rattle. She wasn't trying to make it a poem, just blogging like the rest of us, but still the poetry emerges. I asked her if she minded turning it into a poem and publishing it, she said sure, so we put it in Rattle #24
The little experience got me all excited at the time about making an anthology of found poetry -- not the traditional kind of found poetry, where the "poet" who adds line breaks gets all the credit, but something that acknowledges both the accidental artist, and the reader who was listening closely enough to hear the poetry in what was written.
The truth is, poetry is everywhere--it's not just the domain of people with degrees who dream of seeing their name in print. The idea that poetry is something special devalues the reality of what it is. Any phrase sings or rings is poetry, whether it's in a newspaper article, on a bathroom stall, or in Robert Hass's latest collection. All you have to do is pay attention.
So to that end, Megan and I have put together the Found Poetry Project at www.foundpoetry.org
. It's basically a lit mag in a blog format -- posts every weekday as we have them (and of course we don't have any now). Anyone can submit, and we credit both the original author, and the poem's finder. The goal is to have a little fun, and get people listening to and enjoying the language they inhabit every day.
There are just a couple rules -- the original work can't have been meant as poetry, or written as literature. Found poems can come from blog posts, newspaper articles, letters, spam, street signs, graffiti, whatever you happen to notice. The "finders" can cut words and add line breaks and punctuation, but can't rearrange words or add new ones. They can also add a title or leave it blank.
Does this sound like fun to anyone? If so, we need your help -- we're announcing this just to friends right now (that's why the post says "beta"), so we can hit the ground running. So if you notice anything especially poetic in the coming days or weeks, send it in a note to submissions (at) foundpoetry.org. You can check out the About
, and Submit
pages for more info. Thanks!