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sparkcon raleigh

This past weekend was SPARKcon, a 4-day creative festival that paints the streets of downtown Raleigh every September. I helped organize poetrySPARK 2011, which included our second annual Poetry on Demand Booth. You may remember our summer poetry fundraisers that proved poets do make more than minimum wage. (For new readers, the booth involves a customer giving $1 and 1 word and we write a poem in 3 minutes or less.) In August we wrote over 30 poems in 3 hours; earlier this month we wrote over 50 poems in 3 hours. This past weekend we wrote 92 poems in one day! (Keep in mind, this was an unseasonably chilly, wet and gray weekend.)

I used to be married to someone who didn’t believe I could write poems on demand. At that time I tried to organize a booth, before the lovely Living Poetry group existed and before I knew any writers in Raleigh at all. I had lived in the Triangle for over a year at that point and had no friends. The booth was abandoned and I lost a $100 deposit for a festival.

poetry on demand raleigh

Customers very happy with my first poem on demand in 2010.

But Living Poetry surfaced, I started organizing the Triangle Writers group, my husband and I separated and as serendipity would have it, my very first Poetry on Demand Booth took place on the day of my divorce one year ago on 9.17.10.

This past weekend, one year to my happily-divorced-day on 9.17.11, a couple came to the booth and provided a dollar and a word. I wrote a poem. They walked down the street with their arms around each other. A few minutes later they came back to request another poem and to tell us they’re now engaged to be married. It was a lovely anniversary gift.

poetryspark 2011