What’s A Walking Poets’ Library?

Inspired by the role of walking in William Wordsworth’s long autobiographical poem, The Prelude, poet/scholar/book artist MC Hyland created A Walking Poets’ Library to ask: how can poems be more like conversations? A temporary civic institution housed in Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park installation in Madison Square Park, AWPL’s goal is the creation of a public space that supports the emotional and intellectual complexity of small-scale publishing and conversation. Starting from Wordsworth’s frequent images of two friends walking and talking, AWPL aims to fill a small outdoor library with handmade books generated by visitors to Madison Square Park between July 4 and July 8, 2017. In the process, the library will host writing and bookmaking workshops and salon-style conversations led by academics, artists, and activists.

A Walking Poets’ Library is supported by Poets House–for more information and a full list of programs, visit their website.


One thought on “What’s A Walking Poets’ Library?

  1. Let’s say walking where Ladies Mile crossed the Bowery while walking through an orchard while marching from Washington Square to fire upon the mob at Astor Place while drunkenly weaving past St Marks in the snow and slipping ankle deep in the false asphalt; or walking on shells at Pearl beside the bay, or trudging up the sand in the shadow of a dune, or stepping on a stranger’s toes on the A Train; maybe scurrying on all fours like a rat or a soldier. Skinner sez it’s all just conditioning, Corbusier claims it’s a machine (maybe a grindstone) for living, Freud frets about what the body wants and fears, our secret need for the press of crowds, arguments, grace or pardon, unseen comrade vomiting against my back from blind fear, beggar clasped against my leg, child riding upon my shoulders; poetry? The rat remembers and returns, associative chain of sight and smell and limbic positioning, limbo


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