LOVEKISS (The Change of Human Things)

on Mar 26, 2014 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

I do recommend you listen to Beyonce’s XO when you step off the 7 train at the Willet’s Point stop. You’ll walk down a boardwalk that leads into the great green expanse that is Flushing Meadows Park. It makes you feel possible and electric. To your right, you’ll see Arthur Ashe Stadium and Tennis Center where every September one or both of the Williams sisters achieve excellence clinching the title of best in the nation. That realization will become clear to you just as Yonce deep Houston drawls, ‘this diamond. my diamond. this rock. my rock.’ Flawless isn’t such a surprise anymore. Women *been* waking up like this: working and achieving excellence. You will walk further along a grand promenade lined with London Plane trees on either side, reminiscent of the Great Mall in Central Park, toward the Unisphere and the ruins of the World’s...

Being The New PUP

on Mar 25, 2014 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

I first met Samantha Thornhill at AWP Boston. Excited to meet a fellow Trini poet, I decided to keep in touch. I don’t remember when exactly I heard about PUP but I know I was immediately excited. I had often wondered, taking the subway home from NYU, why people never performed poetry on the trains. They sang, they breakdanced, sold paintings, even lip-synched in drag— but never did I hear anyone recite a verse, theirs or someone else’s. Was this, I wondered, why people didn’t know poetry was a living thing? Over dinner one night I had to ask Sam, how do I get involved with PUP? It was simple, she told me, if I could memorize a poem of her choosing in time for their next event, I could join. The poem was Martin Espada’s “Imagine the Angels of Bread,” and I performed it with Sam and two other PUP’s, Syreeta and Thuli, at the sprawling Queens Museum of Art. PUP’s 25 minute performance...

“The air feels different.”

on May 22, 2013 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

We, as a public, even as a literary public, are not always in a state of preparation, so frames matter. One cannot always be ready to be moved. Its true that soldiers have been known to keep poems in their breastpockets. Captives have been known to feed off of memorized poems for survival. So we know that a work will live anywhere, anyhow, if it is so sorely needed. But most of us, who do not live so clearly on the edge, need a little help if a poem is to find its way into our daily business.

Late breaking: Poets in Unexpected Places featured in the New York Times!

on May 22, 2013 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

We were blessed with this super cool write up from NYT reporterDusica Sue Malesivic this past April for National Poetry Month: There is no velvet rope to traverse, no waiting in line and no entrance fee. Instead, the poets take their works to New Yorkers: on trains and ferries, in stores, on the street, and in parks and laundromats. The poets call themselves, appropriately enough, Poets in Unexpected Places. For almost three years, the five core members — the founders Samantha Thornhill, Jon Sands and Adam Falkner, along with Syreeta McFadden and Elana Bell — have used their ties to a thriving poetry slam community to encourage other wordsmiths to deliver their works in public. And it got ridiculous more generous with this awesome video by videographer and journalist, Mayeta Clark! And then, we were just pinching ourselves when we copped a copy of the print edition to see these...

If Dirty is the New Clean, then the Unexpected is the New Mundane.

on Feb 28, 2013 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

Okay, I confess. More than half a year has passed since I’ve done my own laundry. And before you start imagining putrid piles of clothes cluttering a Brooklyn abode, or bi-weekly garbage bags of musty discards making their way to the Salvation Army and a wallet of maxed-out credit cards to boot, let me say: it’s not even like that. Since I discovered the luxury, I’ve indulged in drop off service. Ten dollars for ten pounds. I pick up my threads next day, my unmentionables folded into origami hellos—smelling of a springtime not of my choosing. The last time I tended to my own laundry was this past summer on a Greek island, where I spent a month at a writing workshop. Washing machines were not prevalent on Thassos, so I scrubbed my clothes in the bathroom sink and hung them on the line to let the breeze do the rest—an unexpectedly gratifying task. Yet, upon my return to New York, I...

‘An absolute kind of sincerity’

on Dec 18, 2012 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

The train doors open. We board the Q cool as a pinstripe suit, we use different doors, scattering ourselves randomly about the car.   As the doors close I become painfully aware of the fact that I would never make it in any sort of espionage work; the excitement terror and anticipation burn on my face clear as a babies conscience. It takes all my effort to keep the corners of my mouth from curling up in a smile. This is going to be a train ride unlike any other.   There is something terrifically terrifying and deeply liberating about sharing your art with a car full of unsuspecting commuters who have not asked for it. Perfect strangers going about their separate endeavors, headed in different directions unified for a time by the complete happenstance that they find themselves on this particular Saturday afternoon, to be on this specific train, in this exact car, at this...

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