We asked you to come up with ways to bring poetry to people using technologies old and new. We kicked off with a contribution from someone who has been a radical activitist of poetry since the 1950s.
Horovitz was one of a host of poets including Allen Ginsberg and Adrian Mitchell who took part in the International Poetry Incarnation, a massive poetry marathon held in 1965 at the Albert Hall, which over 7,000 people attended. It was one of the iconic happenings of the 60s and was celebrated in a film called ‘Wholly Communion’. Michael has since organised poetry happenings at venues large, small and enormous, involving streams of major poets plus special guests including Paul McCartney, Damon Albarn and even Kylie Minoque reading the lyrics to her hit I Should be So Lucky.
In the 60s it was possible to fill the Albert Hall by spreading the word to people by word of mouth. But now you can spread the word ever faster and effectively via free social media. Horovitz has always sought to subvert the establishment of poetry publishing, now that establishment is rocked to the core by the implications of digital tools for their business models.
In this short clip from conversation with Michael, he starts recalling in precise detail the ‘Wholly Communion’ event of 1965, moves on to an attack on advertising in politics and ends with a blessing to the poets of the future, the Great Grandchildren of Albion, urging them to make “stratospheric, fifth dimension poetry” together via digital means, “with music, with computer, with space travel, without knives, and without political or Arts Council approval”.
We asked you to post your ideas to bring poetry to people, amny of them are below. You can read our favourites as selected by Chris Meade from if:book here.