Iowa buried under record two-foot accumulation of poetry

By Harriet Staff

How do you bind a 10,000-page book of poetry? That was the question facing University of Iowa preservation assistant Bill Voss when faced with a 100-volume single poem by local poet Dave Morice. The book was the product of a poetry marathon, during which Morice wrote 100 pages of poetry every day between July and October. The book is two feet thick and requires its own yoga block for support.

“To me, poetry should be brought out in public,” [Morice] said. “It should be extreme writing.”

Morice has brought poetry to the public in more than 60 marathons, many of them occurring in Iowa City. In one of his most famous events, Morice wrapped the entire city block around Prairie Lights with a poem, calling the experience “the most wonderful day of my literary life.”

While this is familiar territory for Morice, it posed a greater challenge to the library and even some of Morice's own friends and colleagues doubted it would ever physically exist in book-form. Now that it does, what happens to it next is another question.

Though the exact future of the book is still uncertain, Voss is confident the book will continue to be a part of the Iowa City community and available to the public. Until then, he is satisfied with his involvement in the record-setting project.

“I’m just happy the thing hasn’t fallen apart,” he said.

Originally Published: January 25th, 2011