Michael Rothenberg, poet, songwriter, editor and publisher of Big Bridge magazine, along with fellow poet Terri Carrion and assistant editor of Big Bridge online are putting together a worldwide event aimed at uniting 100,000 poets to inspire and encourage people to change. The event will take place in many cities at the same time and date, outdoors, and the aim is to have it televised. “The idea is to get people out of the house, get them to meet their neighbours in ever-growing times of alienation, and do something good at the local community level while celebrating the arts,” says Rothenberg.
Rothenberg is also reaching out to poets from the Caribbean and South America. He invites all those who are game for the challenge to sign up and help organize and coordinate the event and make it real.
“It’s time to reach out to friends and contacts in countries all around the world and ask them to join us for this transformative event. 85 cities representing 20 countries have already joined and have agreed to organize local events. It’s time for 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE to get together! Visit our blog at: www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange or go to our Facebook event page or write to Michael Rothenberg at email@example.com Look forward to hearing from you!”
MORE ON 100 THOUSAND POETS for CHANGE
Created By Michael Rothenberg, Terri Carrion
Time: Saturday, September 24 · 11:30am – 11:30pm
There is a lot of information developing on this event. If you read some of the wall posts on the Facebook event pages you can stay current. But, people do have two major questions.
1) What kind of a change are we talking about?
2) I want to organize in my area. How do we begin to organize?
“What kind of CHANGE are we thinking about?”
The first order of change is for poets, writers, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously with other communities around the world. This will change how we see our local community and the global community. We have all become incredibly alienated in recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We need to feel this kind of global solidarity. I think it will be empowering.
And of course there is the political/social change that many of us are talking about these days. There is trouble in the world. Wars, ecocide, the lack of affordable medical care, racism, the list goes on.
It appears that transformation towards a more sustainable world is a major concern and could be a global guiding principle for this event. Peace also seems to be a common cause. War is not sustainable. There is an increasing sense that we need to move forward and stop moving backwards. But I am trying not to be dogmatic. I am hoping that together we can develop our ideas of the “change/transformation” we are looking for as a group, and that each community group will decide their own specific area of focus for change for their particular event.
“I want to organize in my area. How do we begin to organize?”
100 Thousand Poets for Change will organize “participants” by local region, city, or state, and find individuals in each area who would like to organize their local event. Just let me know if you want to be an organizer by sending a message to me directly through Facebook, or to my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an organizer for your community this means that first you will consider a location for the event and begin to contact people in your area who want to participate in the event. Participation means contacting the media, posting the event on the web, in calendars, newspapers, etc., reading poems, performing in general, supplying cupcakes and beer (it’s up to you), demonstrating, putting up an information table, inviting guest speakers, musicians, etc., organizing an art exhibit, and documenting the event (this is important, too), and cleaning up, of course.
Organizers and participants will create their own local event as an expression of who they are locally. Do they want a candlelight vigil or a circus, a march or a dance, do they want absolute silence, a group meditation on a main street; it’s up to the local organization. However, groups should be sure to hold some part of the event, if not all of it, outdoors, in public view. The point is to be seen and heard, not just stay behind closed walls. It is also important that the event be documented. Photos, videos, poems, journals, paintings! Documentation is crucial. The rest of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change want to hear what you have to say about change and enjoy your creativity too! The documentation will be shared through a blog/website that I will set up, a blog/website where groups can share and announce event information, as well as post photos, videos, poetry, art, and thoughts. But an event doesn’t have to involve tons of people. It can be just you (the organizer) and your pet, on a street corner, with a sign. Just let me know what you are planning! Every effort counts!
Each local organization determines what it wants to focus on, something broad like, peace, sustainability, justice, equality, or more specific causes like Health Care, or Freedom of Speech, or local environmental or social concerns that need attention in your particular area right now, etc. Organizations will then come up with a mission statement/manifesto that describes who they are and what they think and care about. When the whole event has taken place all the mission statements can be collected from around the world and, I hope, worked together into a grand statement of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
That’s quick, off the top of my head, summary of where we are now with 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE.
Thank you for joining us!
Michael Rothenberg is a poet, songwriter, and editor and publisher of Big Bridge magazine. His poems have been published widely in small press publications, including Berkeley Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Milk, Golden Handcuffs Review, Jacket, Prague Literary Review, Tricycle, and Zen Monster. His books of poems include Unhurried Vision, Favorite Songs, Nightmare of the Violins, What the Fish Saw, Man/Woman (with Joanne Kyger), The Paris Journals, Grown Up Cuba, and Monk Daddy.
Terri Carrión was conceived in Venezuela and born in New York to a Galician mother and Cuban father. She grew up in Los Angeles where she spent her youth skateboarding and slam-dancing. Terri Carrión earned her MFA at Florida International University in Miami, where she taught Freshman English and Creative Writing, edited and designed the graduate literary magazine Gulfstream, taught poetry to High School docents at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and started a reading series at the local Luna Star Café. In her final semester at FIU, she was Program Director for the Study Abroad Program, Creative Writing in Dublin, Ireland.
Her poetry, fiction, non-fiction and photography has been published in many print magazines as well as online, including The Cream City Review, Hanging Loose, Pearl, Penumbra, Exquisite Corpse, Mangrove, Kick Ass Review, Exquisite Corpse, Jack, Mipoesia, Dead Drunk Dublin, and Physik Garden among others, including the recent anthology, Continent of Light. Her chapbook “Lazy Tongue” was published by D Press in the summer of 2007. A collaborative poem with Michael Rothenberg, “Cartographic Anomaly” was published in the anthology, Saints of Hysteria, A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. Her most recent project is a collaboration with F.R Lavandeira and Loreto Riveiro on a trilingual Galician Anthology, (from Galician to Spanish to English) Terri Carrión is assistant editor and art designer for Big Bridge. Currently, she is learning how to play the accordion and lives under the redwoods and above the Russian River in Guerneville, Ca. with her partner in crime Michael Rothenberg, and her dogs Puma and Ziggy.