a few good ways to promote poetry via libraries


I love my local library (i.e. the Wallingford Public Library.) They regularly post poems in bathroom stalls (sounds weird but it’s a great way of catching people) that aren’t the standard cheezy or classic stuff one might expect to see in libraries.  (This week they have ones up by Michael Robbins and Robert Wrigley.)  I wish all libraries would do this.


They’ve also got a few cool interactive displays set up for National Poetry Month right now, including ones w/Haiku and Magnetic Poetry and (how cool) “Blackout Poetry,” for which they’ve provided a basket of pages from old falling-apart books.


According to Ralph Heibutzki of The Pen and the Pad, 

“Blackout poetry focuses on rearranging words to create a different meaning. Also known as newspaper blackout poetry, the author uses a permanent marker to cross out or eliminate whatever words or images he sees as unnecessary or irrelevant to the effect he’s seeking to create. The central idea is to devise a completely new text from previously published words and images, which the reader is free to interpret as he wishes.”

Here’s one by Austin Kleon, who is known as the originator of Blackout poetry:


For those interested in other ways of promoting poetry in libraries, The Academy of American Poets has many good suggestions. 🙂

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