Spreading words

Dumb SupperIn February I attended Stuart Ross‘ excellent Poetry Boot Camp. I’d never attended a poetry workshop before, but it sounded fun, and it was — even if it was also a lot of pressure. A dozen poems, written in the space of a few hours, in front of other people…not how I usually work, but my discomfort proved motivating.

Stuart handed out copies of “Study 19,” a single poem on a folded piece of paper, and suggested we could do the same as a cheap and easy way to get our poems out there. It’s a cool idea, so when I did my first reading, I printed up 50 copies of “Dumb Supper,” a poem I wrote during Stuart’s workshop (and later refined a little) to hand out.

I think he called them chapbook singles, or I may have misheard that, taking inspiration from Kraft singles, poems as individually packaged slices of cheese, each perfectly identical. Whatever the case, only a few people took them at the reading, so I’ve been leaving copies around on the subway, in coffee shops and generally passing them about, but I still have a few left. If anyone wants one, let me know.

I like the idea of handing them out during Poetry Month. I may make this an annual tradition.