Poetry News

100 Thousand Poets for Change: September 24

By Harriet Staff

Poets for change! In over 265 cities and 58 countries (that's so far), poets are organizing events, demonstrations, and workshops for September 24, 2011, under the hopeful eyes of poet and editor Michael Rothenberg, "as part of a global initiative to celebrate/demonstrate poetry and address issues of peace and sustainability." The concept of the event, called 100 Thousand Poets for Change, can be more fully understood at the 100 TPC website, where each organizer will have his or her own event page, to include poems, photos, video, and comments about poetry. Rothenberg is still looking for organizers, in fact. He told us:

I am very excited by this project, there seems to be a groundswell. I live in the San Francisco area and originally hoped to have 1 big event but it has evolved into 11 events in the SF/Bay Area, with City Lights bookstore tweeting the event and posting flyers around the store, Oakland Slam poets will be putting on a SLAM FOR CHANGE, there will be a spoken word event in Oakland too, Word Party will organize an event of poetry and music, Free University of San Francisco will have a day of lectures by poets about poets and their art, The North Beach Annual Poetry and Art Walk located at the Beat Museum has dedicated their event to 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and there will be a 100 Thousand Poets for Change reading at the Oakland Public Library sponsored by PEN Oakland. Other groups have indicated their interest in fundraisers to help projects they care about. I like the idea that so many poets of so many styles and inclinations have seen their way through this initiative to join with each other.

Also, the website provides each individual event an EVENT LOCATION page, which is also a community page blog, that allows participants to post particular event details and also to post poems, photos, documentation to share with all the other participants around the world. Poets and writers around the world need to know each other better and these events pages will facilitate and initiate communication. After September 24th, these event pages as a whole will become a major document of contemporary world poetry.

Not to go on too much—I would be honored to have you set up an event in your town on September 24 for 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Please let me know if you are interested.

To help out, you can email Michael at [email protected]

Originally Published: June 22nd, 2011