Photos by Mae Koo
The Poetry Circus was inspired by the release of the collection, In the Circus of You, by Nicelle Davis, published in 2015 by Rose Metal Press. Part workshop, community outreach, performance, ride, dance, and creation, the Poetry Circus blurs the line between performer and audience to allow everyone the chance to run away and join the circus. By presenting poetry in an alternative venue, the egalitarian characteristics of poetry are amplified. Poetry IS for everyone, regardless of where we come from or how we got there; we all process and understand the world through metaphor.
Griffith Park is one of the largest parks in the United States. Over 120 years old, it is located in the middle of the sprawling and congested cities that make up Los Angeles County. These 4,310 acres form a sacred refuge. Here the majestic California wilderness helps us reflect on our place in the larger universe. It is “The People’s Park,” created from a long history of regret and redemption. It is forged from humility, and because of this Griffith Park remains one of the few egalitarian strongholds in Los Angeles County. Like Griffith Park, the Poetry Circus is for the people.
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
The Poetry Circus derives its funding from three sources: me, Curt Hanson, and charitable donations from people like you. I, Nicelle Davis, am a poet, mother, and high school teacher. I created the Poetry Circus in hopes of having young people connect poetry with joy and love, instead of associating poetry with dreaded assessment tests and long classroom lectures. I hope that young people will link poetry with “a good time.” Curt Hanson, a NASA engineer, supports the circus financially and is our beloved sound engineer. He gives to the Poetry Circus in order to promote innovation and expression in our community. The third and most important contributor(s) come from donations from our community. Using GoFundMe to collect donations, people like you are able to give money and suggestions for the event; this ensures that the Poetry Circus remains for and from the people. Also, all of the poets, performers, and artists donate their time and art. These contributions allow the event to be free and open to the public―just as Griffith Park has always been free and open to the public.
Please consider giving to The Poetry Circus by contributing to our GoFundMe:
The Poetry Circus
By Kat Ward
Sep 16, 2015
Imagine reciting lines while riding a lion. How about riding one’s steed while being regaled with verse?Well, the “poetic rides” are free at Griffith Park’s historical and restored merry-go-round on September 19, at The Poetry Circus.
Favorite local writers and poets will be reading such as Ron Koertge, Kim Dower, Nicelle Davis, Douglas Kearney, and Cindy Rinne, and Poet Laureate of Los Angeles Luis J. Rodriguez is featured along with 33 established poets. Rachel Jennings contemplates “What Is a Shakespearean Fool?” with Gary Boyles and Glynis Fuller, and prepare for “The Duel of Fools!”
Besides poetry, there will be “crafts for kids, haiku balloons, a paper monster, circus performers, and freaks and geeks are not only welcome, but expected.” Chapbooks will be available for purchase at the book fair. (Yak Press has published a The Poetry Circus chapbook, too.)
“Come join us, won’t you?”
—organizer and poet Nicelle Davis.
The Poetry Circus Snap Shot is a film made by Karyn Ben Singer
5:20 Welcome to the Circus (Nicelle Davis reading)
A brief introduction to the Poetry Circus and its players
5:30 Jacqueline Tchakalian
5:40 Katie Manning
5:50 Eric Morago
6:00 Melanie Jeffrey
6:10 Jessica Piazza
6:20 Blas Falconer
6:30 Laurel Ann Bogen
Poem / Introduction: Nicelle Davis
6:40-6:50 Performance by Post Mortem Movement Theater
6:50-7:00 Children’s Marching Band and Performance by Peggy Dobreer
7:10 Kate Gale
7:20 Suzanne Lummis
7:30 Yvonne de la Vega
7:40 Lauren K. Alleyne
7:50 Kim Dower
8:00 Ron Koertge
8:10 Brendan Constantine
8:20 Douglas Kearney
8:20-8:35 Performance by Post Mortem Movement Theater