PUP Barks at the Botanical Gardens by Elana Bell

on May 25, 2010 in PUP Barks! | 0 comments

Poetry in the Botanical Garden, popping up like the first buds of spring, and that’s what we were on this balmy Saturday afternoon, as we joined Bob Holman and Marilyn Nelson in presenting the poetry of Emily Dickinson, along with original work. Bob had invited us to share his time and add a little something unexpected to the mix. We got there just as the reading was starting, and planted ourselves at various spots throughout the courtyard. The crowd was intimate, and the smell of too many sweet flowers to name drifted in on the breeze. But looking around at the subdued crowd, I knew they were not ready for what was about to come their way. Marilyn Nelson started the reading, presenting a group of Dickinson’s poems, along with several of her own which referred to Dickinson or touched on her themes. As the gentle applause died down, I looked over at Samantha with a twinkle...

Poems and a Metrocard by Marcy Alexis

on May 17, 2010 in PUP Barks! | 2 comments

Photo by Syreeta McFadden   “What’s your Alien Registration number?” – EdAssaulted with poetry! Yes, that’s exactly how I’d like to spend my Sunday afternoon on such a breathtaking day in mid-May. The weather was a consistent warm hug. As a New Yorker, all you can do is talk about the weather on a day like yesterday.. all day! People were just happy to re-introduce their faces and toes to the sun. What a day indeed ..my first ride-along with PUP (Poets in Unexpected Places/Pop Up Poets). I was initially hesitant to join this band of poetic misfits, but knew I’d eventually be one of the pack. Especially after hearing the tales of train and supermarket mayhem from their first two adventures. My passion for poetry gets me in all sorts of predicaments! Samantha, Jon-Ivan, Adam, Ed, Jared, Darian, and Jeanann were my fellow Pop Ups ..as we did just that. Who will be next? What will...

Outside Hollywood Does Poetry.

on May 17, 2010 in PUP Barks! | 0 comments

PUP and violinist Janelle X., standing outside after their pop up performance at the annual Hollywood Does Poetry benefit for Bowery Arts & Sciences, our umbrella organization.

A Dream Fulfilled–by Samantha Thornhill

on May 2, 2010 in PUP Barks! | 3 comments

Ever since my talk with Khadijah, where she mentioned doing poems in a grocery store, the dream has been relentless. It is a waking dream. It involves me performing my ode to picking blackberries in the produce section. Today the dream came true, and Elana and Akua showed up to star in it, outside of Whole Foods, our next target. Moses, our filmographer was also there, ready to capture these moments, as he did on the trains with us almost a week ago. How were we to do it? And how many poems could we get in before security arrived? We plotted. Weighed the unknowns. But in the end, we headed downstairs not knowing what to expect, much like our unsuspecting audience. And so, as shoppers buzzed past me with their carts and their lists, I pulled out my carton of blackberries and began to recite my poem while eating them–more challenging than I thought. But it felt something like...

A Magnificent Seven–by Samantha Thornhill

on Apr 26, 2010 in PUP Barks! | 7 comments

From left to right, Samantha , Jon, Ed, Elana, Akua, Adam & Jai. A Magnificent Seven Sunday afternoon found me at Union Square Park in the drizzling rain waiting for poets to show. Ones that promised, ones that didn’t. Ones I had successfully convinced to join me in this venture I’ve been stewing across a string of experiences. Unhingings I like to call them. It started almost 10 years ago in Tallahassee, where I was born into spoken word. I was younger then and much more fearless. With my poetry troupe (BACK TALK!) I used to do poems on the streets of New Orleans and everywhere else we travelled. Keith and I used to perform poetry and hustle our CD’s in barbershops on Fridays (pay day). And more recently: my 40 minute featture at a 7,000 person audience in Prospect Park–99% of them definitely not there for poetry. A needle exchange program in midtown, the...

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