Colorado College Librarian Enjoys Poetry in Motion

By Byrnes, Jesse | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Colorado College Librarian Enjoys Poetry in Motion


Byrnes, Jesse, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


Jessy Randall remembers the moment she got the call saying that her poetry was being featured halfway around the world.

"My jaw just dropped," the Rochester, N.Y., native said.

Soon, she began to speculate about the placement. "On the side of a truck? I couldn't picture what it was going to be," said Randall, who's served as the archivist and curator of special collections at Colorado College's Tutt Library for 12 years.

Street cleaners and poets may live worlds apart, but in Sydney, Australia, the two come together in an affinity for clean prose.

Randall's poem is one of 19 pasted on 11 street cleaning trucks for this year's Sydney Writers' Festival.

Other poets featured on the trucks include former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, W.B. Yeats, John Berryman, Rainer Maria Rilke and some Australian poets.

Luke Davies, an award-winning Australian poet, chose poems for the trucks "that stop you in your tracks, and are utterly unlike the advertising copy that litters the verbal landscape," according to the festival's website.

Having poetry - pasted 61/2 feet by 31/2 feet - on the side of an Australian sanitation truck helps people to avoid treating poetry in an "exalted way," Randall said, which she appreciates. For her, it incorporates poetry into everyday life. "You gotta clean a street, you gotta read a poem."

The selected poem, "Why I Had Children," is in her second poetry book, "Injecting Dreams into Cows," published last fall. Randall contributed poetry to another book and has also written many articles and given presentations on a variety of topics. …

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