During National Poetry Month 2010, we noticed lots of poets with typewriters going out in their local communities, from Seattle to New York to Miami to San Francisco, offering poems written to order on the spot. Since then, we’ve seen poetry on demand offers springing up in more cities across the country:
- Jacqueline Suskin has turned her portable typewriter into a Poem Store in Arcata, California and will also do poems commissioned online, “Your Subject, Your Price.”
- Kathleen Rooney, Dave Landsberger, and Eric Plattner do Poems While You Wait at markets and festivals around Chicago on their Royal Quiet DeLuxe, Smith Corona Sterling, and Remington DeLuxe Model 5 typewriters.
- Elizabeth Howard takes her Olivetti to the local Harvest Festival in Stratford, Connecticut to create personalized Demand Poetry.
- Bill Keys offered “Poems About Anyone or Anything” on the street in Pa’ia, Maui (where he was called “a hippie bard for the new millennium”), and has since moved back to Boulder, Colorado, where he does Poems While You Wait.
- A group of Atlanta poets have offered Free Poems on Demand as “a subversive literary performance of exquisite proportions” at baseball games, street fairs, art galleries and book festivals.
- Tristan Bennett types Fresh Poetry on the streets of New Orleans.
- Chris Vitiello appeared at last year’s 100,000 Poets for Change event in Durham, North Carolina as “the Poetry Fox,” writing custom poems on request for all comers.
- Living Poetry in the Triangle of North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) sponsors regular Poetry on Demand challenge nights for their member poets and a Poetry on Demand booth at SPARKcon, the annual local arts festival.
- Charlotte Matthews of Charlottesville, Virginia shows up at the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings at a booth offering “Poems To Go: Fresh.”