The Poetree Project Citywide Poetry Event Kicks Off Tonight at Sasha's on Shaw

By Christopher Reilly
In Culture

The Poetree Project—a city-wide participatory poetry project—kicks off tonight (Saturday, Nov. 16) with a party and fundraising auction at Sasha’s on Shaw from 7pm-1:30am. The kickoff party features drink specials, a bonfire, poetic activities and a silent auction. Tonight’s event launches a month of open submissions of poetry—from any and everyone. On Dec. 14 the project will culminate with an installation of the collected poems into the trees of Forest Park, when St. Louisans will be invited to come pluck one. Then the “harvested” poems might then potentially be spread across the globe.

The Poetree Project

The Poetree Project

The event is the creation of Mallory Nezam of STL Improv Anywhere and Henry Goldkamp of FreshInk Poetry and What The Hell is St. Louis Thinking? The impressive list of sponsors donating items for the kickoff party auction include STyLehouse, Preservation Research Office, Schlafly Beer, SkinCare24 Spasalon, Urban Breath Yoga, KDHX 88.1 FM, Letter to Memphis, Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier, 10denza, Left Bank Books, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Old Rock House, Perennial , Eve’s Apple Vintage, and local designer Kirsten O’Loughlin.

Structured on the life-cycle of a seed, the project, according to the Poetree Project Facebook page, works thusly:

SOW – Over the course of a month, Poetree Project will collect poems from St. Louisans and beyond via email or post. They welcome originals, favorites, journal scrawlings – any poems that are meaningful to you.

PLANT – These submissions will then be installed in a grove of barren trees in Forest Park, hanging from tree branches like fruit.

HARVEST – Poems will then be opened for harvest, a full day where St. Louisans are invited to come pluck poems from the trees.

SCATTER – During harvest day, a station will be set up with custom-branded, pre-stamped envelopes, encouraging participants to pass these wonderful gifts along. A phonebook will be handy, in case anyone is inclined to give a complete stranger a pleasant surprise. Like intertwining roots, we are reminded that we are all connected.

SOW PLANT HARVEST SCATTER the seeds back into the universe. Repeat, ad infinitum.

The Poetree Project Kick-Off Party and Fundraiser, Sasha’s on Shaw, 4069 Shaw Blvd., 7pm-1:30am. Suggested donation $10. For more information, find the Poetry Project on Facebook, or visit their Tumblr.

Submit poems to P.O. Box #63438, St. Louis 63163 or thepoetreeproject@gmail.com.

 

“The generation of mankind is like the generation of leaves.

The wind scatters the leaves on the ground,

but the living tree burgeons with leaves again in the spring.”

~ Homer

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