English teacher Keri Powell compiled a “found” poem about Madison County by asking six local teachers and one student to each contribute two lines of the poem.
The poem was part of a community public poetry project in Powell’s ENG 861 Reading and Teaching Poetry class at Eastern Kentucky University where she is completing her master’s degree.
“The purpose was not recreate Elliot or Poe, but to create as a whole community a piece of art,” she said.
The focus of the class is to determine poetry’s place in the world, she said. “Many people feel poetry is a dying and displaced art. As a class, we are attempting to define poetry — what it is and where it can be found.”
Others in the class designed different projects to make poetry available to the public eye, Powell said. For example, a student released poetry balloons and asked the community to reply to the poetry via a website. Another student held a poetry booth at EKU where students stopped and randomly wrote lines of poetry. Another student sent out random invitations all over the United States to write poetry on her blog/website, she said.