“People getting words to people that don’t get words”
The universe can be a magical place by times, when out of chaos, order appears. That’s what happened when I had this weeks spotlight cancel, sending me into the sea of cyberspace seeking brave souls willing to spend a bit of time with The River and its readers this week.
When I first began this poetic, online adventure, there was also an amazing concept just finding its cyber~legs. Lynn Hayes was on a mission to get words to the people that don’t get words. Her desire and determination produced Take It To The Streets Poetry, a non-profit organization designed to do just that. Call it divine intervention, but I am so very honored to bring Lynn and her mission to the pages of The River, let alone on the very week when the Take It To The Streets Page is launched on Facebook. Have a visit, give your support, but first…meet the lady that is giving a voice to so many writers and artists, and getting that voice to the people that would not normally have the opportunity.
Where did such a fantastic idea come from? What planted the seed, and how did your get it off the ground. I find this web world to be filled with cynics and doubters, and have to wonder if you had to face them as well as you took Take it to the Street from idea to implementation?
I got the idea one day when reading about a friend of mine that printed these little story booklets and left them in odd places all over town. I thought, why not do that with poetry and artwork. How would people react to walking up on a free booklet. I put out a call for submissions(not even expecting any more than 5-10 responses) on Facebook, and within a week I had over 150 pieces. I knew then that this could work.
Cynics are everywhere. To be honest, with my organization the only negativity I have found is with the ego driven poet. The ones who submit solely for the purpose of having their words in print. I know they will never print a single copy for giveaway and that does tend to bother me at times. However, the reigning majority support the premise of tittsp and that overshadows the self-serving ones.
The team at tittsp consists on one other person that helps me edit the pieces and myself. We are a mighty team of two.
Where is your vision leading the project? what are your goals for coming issues, especially as popularity grows?
My mind is constantly turning as to where this can move on to. I am currently working with the local high school district to get this as part of an afterschool program. Let the students be involved with the submission process, editting and then take it to the streets. Our youth need a place to be heard and my organization is such a place to allow them that artistic freedom. I have recently also begun to showcase one writer (will do this every other month). This has double rewards for everyone. The writer gets to share his words on a global scale and the recipient gets a nice, printed copy of poetry. A free book of poetry is a true gift.
I would also like to see others be inspired by tittsp so they will perhaps start up something in their towns and ensure poetry is a part of everyones life. A poem has the power to transform one’s thoughts.
What are you looking for in contributors, and how does one go about being a part of Take it To the Street?
Everyone and anyone is welcome to submit. No words are refused with the exception of degrading, racist or heavy pornographic material. Those words are offensive to many and we aim to enrich and enlighten, not offend any reader. The submission folder never closes, so anyone can submit via the form on the website.
We ask also that people take pictures of where they give/drop the booklets and email us the photos for inclusion on the website. To date we have pictures from gloabl poetry drops. It really is quite exciting.
For more information on tittsp, our website is: takeittothestreetpoetry.com
Artists, writers, poets, readers and appreciators…this is one worthwhile cause, and I urge you to submit, to print, and help Lynn and Take It To The Streets spread the works of amazing creators to those wanting arms that may not receive them any other way. And be sure to print your copies of October 2011`s Edition. `Writhing & Alive` by Mike Meraz, and share them with your world!