I received a VERVE grant (a small, spoken word art grant administered by Intermedia Arts) in the Autumn of 2012 to “broadcast” a series of recorded poems written for specific places around the twin cities. The hitch is in the quote marks- the recorded poems will be accessible via phone only- using Twilio.com‘s phone technology, the poetry is meant to be experienced in the places the poetry is written for (some of the poems being choose-your-own adventure style, press one to go down this alley, press two to walk into the park). I worked with other poet-collaborators to generate two poems a week, for May and June. As audiences phoned in to experience the poetry, it was optimal for Twin Cities audiences to experience the poetry in spaces, but anyone anywhere in the world could take part for the cost of a phone call.
In 2013, I received an Emerging Writers grant (a grant from the Jerome foundation, administered by the Loft Literary Center) to re-mount the project, and to take on more of the recording duties. What you see before you today, is the result of that.
The point of the project is to make poetry accessible anywhere, at any time, but also to take poetry out of the literary magazines and off the stages and into physical locations around the places I call home. You are meant to get on a bus, on a bike, in a car, and see parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul while you hear poets read their own poems about those places.
What if you don’t live in Minneapolis or Saint Paul? This is your invitation to get to know my cities a little bit more intimately, by listening to their stories. Maybe you’ll find yourself compelled to come visit. Crazier things have happened.