Cut up that poetry

A pair of scissors may be just the thing to get your poetry juices flowing. Join Sallie Erhman at the Medford Library’s Adams Room on Saturday May 9, from 2 p.m., to 4 p.m., for her Cut-Up Poetry workshop.

Cut-up poetry was a literary technique used by avant-garde writers in the 1920’s and later most associated with beat writer William S. Burroughs. The beauty and fun of it is that the entire creative process can be left to chance. Poets can simply take a text such as a magazine article or maybe a story from the “Daily Tidings,” carefully cut out each of the words and mix them up any way you please. Put the words in random order or let the original article inspire a poem. It’s a great writing exercise and often sparks some surprising work. The tactile experience isn’t one we often use in creating a poem, and it’s a pleasure handling the words we cut out. Plus all the cutting and pasting that many of us have not done since grade school offers a bit of a nostalgic kick.

Erhman is a poet and collage artist who applies her rich artistic background to the process, helping writers tap into or reinvigorate their own creativity.

The workshop is free and all materials are provided.

The Medford Library is located at 205 S. Central Ave., Medford.
For more information call (541) 774-8689

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