Poets from around the world are preparing to come together to make their voices heard and to support growing calls for change.
Some months ago, poet, editor and publisher of Big Bridge magazine, Michael Rothenberg, along with fellow poet and assistant editor of Big Bridge, Terri Carrion launched 100 Thousand Poets for Change – an initiative that quickly caught the imaginations of many poets and writers. The aim of it is to organize a global event that will bring together 100,000 poets, writers and artists from all over the world in a celebration of poetry and the arts, and to arrange activities in their local communities that would, in turn, inspire members of the community to come together in solidarity and promote meaningful social and political change.
“We Have a Goal!” -100 Thousand Poets for Change by Yvonne de la Vega
The event will take place in many cities at the same time and date – Saturday, September 24 from 11:30 am – 11:30 pm. It will be held outdoors and the plan is to have it televised.
The response to the event has been phenomenal. To date peace and sustainability-based poetry events are being organized in 335 cities and 68 countries. Thousands are expected to participate in a host of activities, including in Montreal, Mexico City, Sydney, Australia, and Pretoria, South Africa.
“We have 23 events in India, 7 events in Mexico City, 12 events in the San Francisco/Bay Area, 6 events in major venues in New York City,” said Rothenberg. In addition, he confirmed there are “165 events in the USA, 10 events in Africa and 10 more in South America.”
Stanford University has thrown its support behind the event. “Stanford University Library sees the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event as historical and has volunteered to archive all of the [event] websites at http://www.100tpc.org , where organizers have their own webblog page to document their local event. September 24 will be a great day,” said Rothenberg.
The 100 Thousand Poets for Change team are eager to have Caribbean poets join in and be part of the event.
“I am making a call out to Caribbean organizers. We do not have adequate representation in the Caribbean region. Please join us in this poetry and arts community action. An event can be large or small, but we hope to include your voice in this initiative,” said Rothenberg. “Just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will create a city event page for you at the website. Join us for September 24.”
Each community group will create their own event, choose the location and invite people to participate. The event could be poetry sessions, a concert, a demonstration, an art and craft exhibition, a candlelight vigil, inviting guest speakers, – whatever you think is appropriate and can be used to highlight local concerns. It can be big or small – even a one-person event. Each local organizer will decide what theme to focus on – for example, peace, justice, equality, support for the poor, freedom of speech or more specific causes like environmental protection, universal health care and other social issues that need attention in your area.
It is important that the event (or at least part of it) be held outdoors in full public view. It’s also crucial that it be documented – videos, photos, poems, journals, blog and website postings, paintings. That way you can share news and highlights of your event with the rest of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change and find out how all the groups did in their campaign for change. Don’t forget to invite the media to cover the proceedings.
100 Thousand Poets for Change will organize participants by local region, city, or state, and looks forward to working with individuals in each area who would like to organize their local event.