Sunday, November 15, 2009


So even though this isn't directly linked to printmaking, I wanted to share this link about the project called Poetry 180 started by former poet laureate Billy Collins. I see a similarity between the misconceptions about poetry and the misconceptions about printmaking in terms of being old fashioned. The concept of Poetry 180 is to show a poem at the beginning of class and read it without going into typical analysis overdrive. Poetry has generally been deemed "uncool," but movements such as Slam Poetry strive to reawaken the poet in all of us. In some ways poetry and writing are more democratic than Printmaking since everyone has access to words and not necessarily does everyone have access to a printing press. Every word is a matrix and there are an infinite number of possible combinations just like the infinite possibilities within printmaking.

Introduction to Poetry

Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

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