Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to a Professor of Electrical Engineering

This video and poem are from about 3 1/2 years ago, and were just discovered in the bowels of the internet!

This is the infamous poetry booth that my dear friend Miriam Hall and I ran for three years at the Willy Street Fair in Madison Wisconsin (kudos to Natalie Goldberg for the idea), and that Miriam now continues with the help of her writing students.

The poetry booth operated in the following manner: folks would give us a topic (any topic, as this poem illustrates), pay us $1, we'd write a poem on the spot, as fast as we could, then read it aloud to them and give it away. It was a powerful practice in dealing with creative resistance, stage fright, and generosity.

I've been contacted by several people over the years who I'd written poems for, including a radio producer who invited Miriam and I to read on his show, a friend who paid me (a lot more than $1 this time) to write him another spontaneous poem, and others - but never anything like this! I have no idea who the man is that took this video and crowned me poet laureate of the Willy Street Fair, but thank you for making my day!


  1. Did he find you or did you find it? Awesome.

  2. So nice to see a video of you! Love the story.

  3. Mac randomly found this online and told me about it, but then couldn't find it again! Finally it revealed itself again and I actually got to see it.