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Friday Eye Candy: The Poetry of the Urban

A survey of the long history of poetry connected of the urban experience—from the 18th century to the Beat poets of the 20th century and the Hip Hop artists of today.
October 7, 2016, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"In a modern world where hyper-connectivity often results in disconnection from our immediate surroundings, creating the space to explore poetry can make us more reflective and engaged citizens," writes Rosie Spinks. "With poetry, the city becomes a place where we meander, both physically and mentally."

Spinks provides a loving survey of urban poetry, spanning cultures and eras, drawing connections to the urban experiences and opportunities that unite them all.

All of this despite the fact that "over time, poetry has been less associated with train tracks, smog, and bridges and more with brooks, brambles, and fields," admits Spinks. Yet with examples like Alexander Pope, Charles Baudelaire, Allen Ginsberg, and Eminem to draw from, Spinks begins to build a history of poetry as a uniquely urban form. And with examples of prominent urbanist poets and fans of urban poetry working in cities today, Spinks shows all of us how to actively connect with poetry to the cities we love.

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Published on Thursday, October 6, 2016 in The Guardian
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