Monday, January 7, 2008

The Guerrilla Poetics Project Interview with Justin Barrett

1. I would like to ask you about your role in the Guerilla Poetics Project, if I may. Are you one of the originators and if so, how did the idea become reality with a press and a following?

I, along with 9 others, feverishly came up with an idea of getting poetry to the masses. It happened over a three day period on a blog, grew through emails and chats, and eventually sprouted wings in what we currently call the Guerilla Poetics Project. Most of us have had similar ideas in the past, be it with chapbooks, leaflets, brochures or broadsides. But, we had the people, the printer, the money and the wherewithal to finally realize it. And, so we ran with it. The rest is history.

2. When I first found a broadside from the GPP and decided to join I saw the mention that the originators seek out well-known poets of the small presses. How do you decide who to feature?

At first, we wanted to make our lives as easy as possible. We had no talent for websites or databases (which we've since fixed in the form of a fellow poet who has that talent) so we had to do things by hand. We figured if we just invited those who've been published in the small press before, who've already made a "name" for themselves, then we don't have to worry too much about logistics and other things. So, we invited those we already knew. As it grew, we were able to invite more and more and more. We got more sophisticated (thanks to said talented poet/programmer) we are now able to open submissions to all operatives so that we can mayb e find some unknown writers out there whose work is worthy of being sent around the world to be found by other unsuspecting readers!

3. Also, now that I have joined the GPP there has been an allowance for members to submit poems. What brought about this decision? Has it been a positive result so far?

The decision was actually one that was made early on, but not implemented due to limitations. Once we got past the first full year and realized this thing wasn't just a flash in the pan, but had staying power, and had the ability to invite all who join us to submit, it was a no-brainer. So far, the reaction has been nothing but positive. And, I for one am excited at the possibility of finding new writers.

4. What are some interesting, unknown facts about the Guerilla Poetics Project originators?

We are young and old. We live in 7 different states and three countries. We are not all poets. We are poker players and factory workers, we are cooks and social workers, we are scientists and secretaries. We are male and female and everything in between.

5. What are some interesting facts about the Guerilla Poetics Project in general?

We've had finds in 38 different countries, in 154 different books by 88 different authors.

6. What would the Guerilla Poetics originators like to see happen as a result of these free broadsides being hidden all over the world?

We would love to see the love of, and effect from, poetry expanding across the world. We all feel poetry has a unique and powerful ability to reach people, but this ability has been lost to TV, internet, mp3s, magazines, etc. Poetry is also able to appeal to the ADD, instant gratification, Ritalin-fueled people we have all become. We think it could help ease psychic and emotional pain better than any other written or visual art form, and as good as any human comforting. We hope to find new readers who become passionate poetry lovers, who in turn pass their love onto others.

Thanks to Justin Barrett for answering on behalf of the Guerrilla Poetics Project and I hope everyone will check out the Project by using the link on my sidebar.
Thanks to all my loyal readers and any new ones who have dropped in for reading!