One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change is a worldwide poetry gathering -- basically the largest organized poetry event in history. Sound like a grandiose statement? It is.
This Saturday, there will be 650 events in 95 countries, including 13 events in South Florida alone. Expect a poetic dialogue promoting environmental, social, and political change. If you're expecting glitz and glamor, think twice.
Unfortunately, there will not be Knight Foundation meat parties, cruises in Ferrari's, celebrity readings where the speaker arrives four hours late, and misses the reading altogether, or recycled poems dropped from helicopters onto groups of teen hipsters. That's all for another local poetry festival.
One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change is definitely grassroots. It rings
of poetic activism, aiming to prove the pen is mightier than the sword.
The event, with 5,000 attendees on its Facebook page, is using social
media to promote change in a manner not unlike the occurrences of the
Co-organizers Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion
are Miami transplants living in Northern California. Both are capable
poets, with an unrelenting ear towards social change. They have been
planning this occasion all year.
Rothenberg has high hopes for the inaugural event, saying "The realistic
expectation is that change has already taken place because we are now
seeing an unprecedented solidarity in the global poetry community."
Miami, a motley of events are planned including a central reading at
the grass median on Lincoln Road and Meridian on Saturday from 10:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as well as numerous readings at local colleges.
Later that night, there will be a Rumi Concert, featuring Coleman Barks,
poet and translator of Rumi; David Darling, Grammy-winning cellist;
percussionist Glen Velez; and Zuleikha, internationally acclaimed
storydancer, at Gusman Theater.
"The first order of change is for
poets, writers, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create
and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other
communities around the world," explains Rothenberg.
"This will change how we see our local community and the global
community," he continues. "We have all become incredibly alienated in
recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our
creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We
need to feel this kind of global solidarity. It will be empowering."
following Saturday's events, all documentation on the 100TPC.org
website will be preserved by Stanford University, which has recognized
100 Thousand Poets for Change as an historical event, the largest poetry
reading in history.
Do you want to be a part of history? For a complete list of the events in the Miami area visit the website here.