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2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival - Day 2

This report from Split This Rock Poetry Festival features a photo montage from "Take Poetry to the Streets! A PUBLIC ACTION."

Sarah Browning and her team organized a group of 50 people more or less into 8 flash mobs whose goal it was to connect with passersby by reading or performing preferably love poetry on street corners in the fashionable /business district of Washington, DC. This was a way to counter the bad political energy now suffusing our airwaves.

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Sarah asked Ross Gay to allow his poem "A Small Needful Fact" to be sent out on the streets. Otherwise, participants could bring copies of their own poems.

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A SMALL NEEDFUL FACT

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.

"A Small Needful Fact" copyright © 2016 Ross Gay

At the rally point, the Dresser spotted long time and new friends from the Women in Poetry ListServ (WOMPO: Peggy Rozga and Wendy Brown-Baez. After all STR is all about making connections for the life in poetry.

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Then group number 6 went out on the streets.

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This group of photos includes South African poet Mantombi Mbangata.

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Here's another Poem of Love & Welcome:

From a Conversation-Hour Discussion About Intolerance with Adult English Students
Pak Kret, Nonthanburi, Thailand


Then he explained
how the Buddha

instructed us
to reflect on the body

our skin
our hands and feet

our body hair
our nails and teeth

our noses
our eyes

our minds
our hearts

so that we can see
ourselves clearly

in every person
no matter where

-Nahshon Cook


What was the reaction on the street? Many people said no thank you or quietly moved away from our hands offering poems. Some people took the poems with interest and said thank you.

Our leader said, I think we look like a band of missionaries!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 15, 2016 9:29 PM.

The previous post in this blog was 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival - Day 1.

The next post in this blog is 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival - Day 3.

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