Monday, December 15, 2008

Poets: go jump in a freezing lake

How do you get more folks to pay attention to poetry? Why, you jump in a freezing lake, of course!

It's what A.K. "Mimi" Allin did, anyway, along with 11 other poets on Dec. 13. They read some poems and then they dove into Green Lake in Washington.

Allin is identified by The Seattle Times as a 41-year old "guerrilla" art activist "who lives on a sailboat." She said "she wants to make poetry fun, get it in the news, wake people up" and heal the rift between "page poets and stage poets."

I don't know how successful Allin's adventure was, but it definitely helps solidify the idea that folks who write poetry are, well, a little crazy.

Thank you to Emily Mahan for bringing this important news item to my attention. Oh, and to answer your question, Emily, "poetry laden underwear" is a pair of "tighty-whities with poetry scrawled on front and back."

UPDATE: Check out the comments section and go to to read more about this event and see photos of nearly nude poets.

1 comment:

A. K. Allin said...

Hi and thanks for posting this. This is Mimi, the event organizer. I pasting a short bit here from my blog, talking about the significance of the event.

Was The Event Significant? Yes! The Poetry Polar Bear Club proved to be an invigorating and powerful event, one that brought poets and dreamers together, that awed and inspired the public and that jump-started a tradition. Not only do I feel lucky to know a group of poets and artists crazy enough to jump into the lake with, but I feel honored to be able to initiate change where I live. I am starting to feel a shift in the poets. And I can see that paralleled in New York City and San Francisco. Poets are beginning to engage with the public and are starting to see their fellow poets as collaborators instead of competitors. Hooray!

And not only did we jump in the lake, but many wrote a poem just for this event and found that the writing of the poem along with the making of the suit and the action of jumping in the lake was a complete poetic idea, the sort of action that defines my work. I'm all about bringing poetry to life.

Anyway, to read more and see more photos, see: thepoetessatgreenlake (dot) blogspot (dot) com