As the Observer points out, “it is impossible to gauge what is happening in English-speaking poetry simply by browsing bookshop shelves and reading broadsheet newspapers” - but to really appreciate the landscape this week, you’ll have to go outside.
Until Friday, some of the city’s best loved landmarks are the backdrop for poems by Samuel Beckett (among other poets) as part of the Centenary Festival celebrating his works. City Hall, the Barbican, Senate House, Somerset House and St Paul's Church all have a poetry veneer by the artist Jenny Holzer, who previously projected scrolling words over the Louvre and Rome’s Spanish Steps. “Her medium,” explains designboom, “whether formulated as a t-shirt, as a plaque, or as an LED sign, always is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work.” Although increasingly political (Holzer’s 1995 work was called “Please Change Beliefs”), For London is a more crowd-pleasing exhibition to showcase poems by the Irish Nobel Prize winner. Luckily for arty types like us though, she still has an agenda: “I'm always trying to bring unusual content to a different audience - a non-art-world audience,” Holzer reveals. Take that London philistines!
While we’re on the subject, the spring edition of Poetry London is out now and you can submit your own original work to the competition and maybe get your own self projected on a wall one day. Entries must be in English, your own unaided work, not a translation of another poet, unpublished and a maximum length of 80 lines. Deadline for poems is June the 1st.
(Photo - stadtwald)