News / Calgary

Pop-up poetry permeates perfunctory prose in Calgary

City's poet laureate will be offering up poems based on one-word suggestions

Calgary’s Poet Laureate Micheline Maylor will spend an afternoon creating poetry off the top of her head – with one word suggestions from Calgarians.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Calgary’s Poet Laureate Micheline Maylor will spend an afternoon creating poetry off the top of her head – with one word suggestions from Calgarians.

“Mustard is so great on sandwiches

“It’s almost like being pandered to.”

That’s the haiku Calgary’s Poet Laureate Micheline Maylor wrote for Metro. We gave her the word mustard, and she spit out the first thing that popped into her head. Simple, eloquent – and to the point.

On Tuesday Aug. 9, she’ll spend a few hours doing the same thing – taking one word suggestions from Calgarians, and spitting out poems on the spot, in the Mount Royal University’s first ever pop-up poetry event.

“And we’re going to take these old fashioned typewriters and make you a custom poem out of your word and the typewriter,” explained Maylor. “Whatever is flying out of our heads – it’s high-pressure creativity.”

Maylor will be joined by other well-versed wordsmiths Richard Harrison, Cassy Welburn and former laureate derek beaulieu.

They’ll type out poetic justice to absolutely any suggestion outside of the Sport Check on Stephen Avenue.

The event is to spread awareness about the poet laureate program, but Maylor admits her improvisation poetry skills pale in comparison to the stanzas, sonnets and synaesthesia she writes with more time.

“But, you know, that’s okay,” she laughed. “It’s a really fun way of engaging the community, expanding knowledge, and having a bit of fun.”

The best part for her isn’t the couplets on the page – but the couplets she’ll make engaging Calgarians and forging relationships.

The poets will be on Stephen Avenue from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Look for the typewriters.

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