Iowa City Poetry Marathon

By Morice, David | Word Ways, August 2010 | Go to article overview

Iowa City Poetry Marathon


Morice, David, Word Ways


In November, 2008, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City as the world's third City of Literature, along with Edinburg, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia. This summer there will be various celebrations of this event. The University of Iowa Main Library is having an exhibit from July through October, 2010, featuring books, broadsides, and other works by the UI Writers Workshop and by the Actualist Poets, who flourished here in the 1970s.

As a member of both groups, I am participating in the exhibit by writing a poetry marathon, the first one in 25 years. In the 1970s-1980s, as "Dr.Alphabet," I wrote 60 poetry marathons and other punic writings in Iowa City and elsewhere. These works included 1,000 Poems in 12 Hours, a Mile-Long Poem, Poem Wrapping a City Block, Poem off the Top of the Jefferson Building, Poem Whitewashed on Dubuque Street, Poem Across the Delaware River, and others.

The library is going to exhibit my original Dr. Alphabet outfit--white shirt, pants, shoes, tophat, and cane spangled with letters of the alphabet in different colors. As part of the exhibit, I am going to create a poem in 100 days. Most of the time, the writing will take place in the library's exhibition area. Each day will result in a 100-page volume that will include a wide variety of writing and many stories about Iowa City. If the 10,000 pages could be placed end to end toward the sky, the result would be almost one hundred times taller than the Jefferson Building.

Previously, when I wrote a marathon poem, I made no plans in advance. When the time came, I wrote whatever I wanted to. Some of the resulting poems were punished, but most of them, especially the longer ones, have wound up occupying space in my attic. When the library contacted me about displaying the Dr. Alphabet outfit, I asked if I could write a new poetry marathon, and the exhibit committee agreed to host it.

"Poetry City Marathon" will be the title of this work. In 1977, the Poem Wrapping a City Block was titled "Poetry City USA." The spirit of the 1970s Actualist Movement in Iowa City had reached its peak. For me, the goal of this summer's marathon is to get back to that spirit of creativity.

The rules of the new marathon are different from the previous marathons. First of all, I have done a lot of planning in order to ensure that most of the days have something unique going on. Second, I will include the text of many of the previous poetry marathons and other writings within the big marathon itself. Third, on some days, specific groups of people will be invited to join the writing, including senior citizens, grade school and high school students, hospital patients, and even a Scrabble expert who will play a game of Scrabble with me while I use the words formed in the game as part of the poem. There will also be a visit from Dan Coffey, the illustrious Dr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Iowa City Poetry Marathon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.