Karen Head as living art, AWP Denver, RIP Turner Cassity

De-lovely and delicious Atlanta poet Karen Head will ascend the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square tomorrow (July 31) at noon east coast time (that's 5 p.m. in London) as part of the One and Other project. You'll be able to watch Karen live on the Plinth and interact with her on Twitter (she's @poetphd). While on the Plinth, Karen will be doing exquisite corpse poetry, asking the folks following her on Twitter to supply the next line. Here's what Karen says:

"You need to be following me on Twitter so you can see what I post. At random I'll pick a name from the list (your Twitter name) and ask you to write the next line. Try to be as quick as possible. Begin your post with @poetphd (this directs the message to me so I'm sure to see it, while allowing others to see it as well). Because Twitter is so restricted, you can only type 140 characters at a time, you may have two postings for each addition you make to the poem. If you are going to need two postings, end your first post with and ellipsis (...) so I know that you'll have a second coming up. I'm going to be transcribing everything onto my computer and reading it aloud from the Plinth. I will also be randomly calling on people from the crowd, so you will see lines posted by me. There is also a chance that someone will post something via Twitter from a mobile without me expecting it--but that will be part of the fun. I hope to get to all of you at least twice, but we'll have to see how long it takes."

Karen asks that you email her your Twitter ID tonight so she'll make sure she's following you. You can email her at khead@gatech.edu. In case of tech snafus, Karen has also asked that you send a short poem that she might read from the Plinth. TIME magazine is covering Karen's appearance on the Plinth. Consequently, your contributions could be mentioned by the reporter in the article or appear as part of the short film they are making. This is going to be a very cool event, and Karen is making a little history in the process.

In other news, the panel I cooked up with Karen Head, Megan Volpert and Lola Haskins was accepted for AWP Denver next year. The panel, which was selected from more than 850 entries this year, is called "About My Day Job: The Proliferation of Poetry by Any Available Means" and focuses on how to maintain a career and also be a poet. I'm waiting to hear if the second panel I'm supposed to be on gets picked up. Denver, here I come.

Found out this evening that Atlanta poet Turner Cassity passed away on Sunday. Turner founded the poetry reading program at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and was the author of numerous acclaimed collections, the most recent being No Second Eden and Devils and Islands. You can find out more about him at this link.


Karen J. Weyant said…
Congrats on the panel acceptance. I think I am going to try to go to AWP this year! I've never been -- AWP or Denver, so I'm excited.
Robin Kemp said…
Oh, no! I hadn't heard about Turner. I wrote an article about him for the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry. I was looking forward to giving him a copy of the book. Any word of funeral arrangements?
Collin Kelley said…
Robin, no word on a service yet, but I'll post the info on PoetryAtlanta.com as soon as we get it. Callanwolde is planning a memorial reading at a date to be announced.
January said…
Congrats on the AWP Panel. And you're discussing such a relevant topic in this day and age. Looking forward to attending it.
christine said…
The Fourth Plinth event is exciting for Karen and for poetry in general. I love how she's marshaling all her forces – technology, poets, and even her voice by calling out lines to the crowd.

Congratulations about your panel! If I go, I'll attend your session, for sure.
Lisa Allender said…
Just getting to this post(am caught up with your most recent, above, though!).
Sorry to hear about Turner Cassity.

Great news about your panel, Collin! I hope to make the trip to AWP next year. We'll see.

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