“Monumental” is the name of the Exquisite Corpse poem that Karen Head put together on the 4th Plinth today from lines by Christine Swint, Ivy Alvarez, Collin Kelley,  David Matthew Barnes, Rupert Fike, and me, and she read poems by several of us as well as Bob Wood, Jo Hemmant, and Julie Bloemeke.

It was amazing.  At first, it didn’t look like Karen was doing much–just sitting in a chair with her Mac on her lap, but then the Twittering started, and it was fast and furious.  Sometimes she’d call out to the audience to ask for a line, and I couldn’t help wondering what those people in Trafalgar Square were thinking.  

It was hard to keep up with the feed, because you couldn’t see everyone’s posts, and people would be trying to come up with the next line, but couldn’t see what the line before was.  So it was crazy!  I know I tweeted 30 times in one hour–which I’ve never done before.  It was like almost being likes a sportscaster making blow-by-blow comments on the situation–except there were all these other people doing it at the same time.

I loved it.  And the poem she came up with is fantastic.  I can’t wait to read it on the page.  

If you missed her performance, or you’d like to see it, go here.

Karen Head on the 4th Plinth Tomorrow

One of my best friends (and a terrific poet) is Karen Head, who has been teaching over in GT’s Oxford Program this summer.  I don’t know how she was selected, but she was one of 2400 hundred people chosen to participate in the Fourth Plinth program by One and Other in Trafalgar Square, where, for 100 days and 24 hours a day, a person can stand on top of it and do whatever she wishes for her hour.  Karen will be on the Plinth from noon to one, Eastern Time tomorrow, and she will be broadcasting a Twitter-based poetry project.

She sent us the details this evening in an e-mail.  Apparently, she will basically create an Exquisite Corpse poem, where she will alert one of her specific Twitter followers to contribute the next line of the poem.  She will be transcribing everything on her computer and reading it aloud.  She will also periodically call on people in the audience around the Plinth to contribute lines, so it should be quite an amazing poem, I think, when it’s done.  I hope the lines I contribute won’t suck!

Even more amazing, Time Magazine will be covering her hour!

Read more about Karen’s project in the AJC.

See a live webcam of the Plinth.