[Ed’s note: If you’d rather not read MG’s rambling intro, as entertaining as it is, you can skip to the meat of this post.]

The Verse Project

Maybe you came to words and poetry the hard way. Maybe you spent your younger days reciting lines like

Betwixt between the East and West
he calls on her wearing a leather vest
the earth squeals and shudders to a halt

And then on a Sunday morning in late October you mourned the passing of a mad, mercurial, poet of the heart. Maybe you earned your stripes by writing a thousand lines a hundred times each until they read like the scroll in your head. Maybe you buy books of verse and they sit on your coffee table for months or years before you finally crack them, read two poems, then decide to save the rest for next year, or the year after that. And maybe you just dig the human voice in the air, none of this paper guff, and you get a kick when someone steps to the microphone and delivers words they believe – an act you approach only on your strongest days.

However you came to love poetry and words, we hope you hold those maps dear. Whatever your relationship with these squiggles and throat-murmurs, we think you’re pretty alright for it. And whatever you do during your time of being temporarily unbroken, we hope you fill some of it with poetry. For those who live for the word, who live in the space between apology and grievance, who read books to feel better about the world, you have our noble regards.

Recently, we launched our re-branded Poets in the Schools program. It now runs year-round, and it’s now called The Verse Project. Here’s the lowdown from the project page:

The Verse Project is dedicated to working with students and teachers to help establish a lifelong interest in poetry and the literary arts. Our program helps students learn to love words and increases literacy. We help them explore their own unique voice and how it can be used in poetry.

It’s a beautiful endeavour, and we’re really proud of it. Bringing poetry to youth is one of our strongest, most important mandates. We’re out to change the perception of poetry taught in school. It’s not just reading Robert Service and reciting Shakespearian sonnets. It’s a living, breathing artform that can change lives (mine, yours, and everyone else’s). Would we go so far as to claim that poetry can change the world? Hyperbole aside, poetry can make a difference.

To make The Verse Project a success, and to bring it close to what we envision, we’re embarking on our first crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Click the logo below for information and to donate.

Look, we realize that almost everyone has their hand out these days and that money is tight. But if you care about poetry and its future, we hope you’ll consider dropping us a few shekels. You don’t have to give a lot – even a couple bucks will help. If you just won $1000 from a lottery scratch ticket, well, hit that button and let’s party!

As always, we at PoFest central appreciate your time and attention – the two most valuable things you have. We wish you well in this snowy November. May your flickers last longer than a minute.