Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf Projects
Since this program began,
the work of 140
poets from the U.S., Canada, England, China, Wales, Spain, Australia and Norway
have appeared on over 2500 java jackets, close to 5000 postcards, 1500 bookmarks, in a
plethora of jawbreaker capsules, in palm-sized books for glove compartments, on 125 note cards
attached to maple syrup jugs and on 30 decals affixed to bicycles.
2013 —In partnership with Cowfeather Press to produce an anthology to benefit the Madison Poet Laureate Fund,
poems for the anthology that referenced locations in downtown Madison were also selected by Madison B-Cycle, and produced
on decals affixed to 30 of the fleet's bicycles.
2011 —The theme was "Luck of the Draw"— and poems touched, in some way, on good fortune, misfortune,
opportunities gone awry, flukes, coincidence and second chances. They were packed into jawbreaker capsules with jawbreakers
and other candies, and made available - along with the possibility of winning a year's subscription to Verse Wisconsin - from
a dispenser coined the Verse-O-Matic. This dispenser was transported to various Wisconsin venues statewide, and traveled
with the Verse Wisconsin editors to events, conferences and festivals throughout 2011. The poems were also published in the
summer 2011 online issue of Verse Wisconsin. Some of the venues where the Verse-O-Matic took up residence were Boswell
Books in Milwaukee; the Lussier Education Community Center, Avol's Bookstore and Orange Tree Imports in Madison; Windhover Center
for the Arts in Fond du Lac; Nita Moore's healthful living facility in Iron Ridge; and the Harmony Cafe as well as Lawrence University
in Appleton. August and September 2012: The Allium Restaurant & Bar in Milwaukee.
2009 —The theme was "Lines in the Sand"—reaching across territorial, cultural and interpersonal boundaries
and paired with the artwork of Sarah Spencer, then produced as postcards. These were made available to the public at the first
Lorine Niedecker Poetry Festival in Fort Atkinson, the Harambee-South Madison Health & Family Center and the following
places: Willy Street Co-op, Regent Market Co-op, Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, Goodman Community Center, the Alicia Ashman Branch Library, Monroe
Street Branch Library, Southside Branch Library, Madison Central Library, Avol's Bookstore, EVP Coffee, the Edgewood College
campus and the Creative Writing Department at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin; Scott's Pastry Shoppe
in Middleton, Wisconsin; The Wired Cyber Cafe in Taos, New Mexico; the Sedona Public Library in Sedona, Arizona;
the Creative Writing Department at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, Wisconsin; InnerGate Therapeutics in
Evanston, Illinois; the Seattle Public Library and the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; the Get Lit! Spokane Literature Festival
in Spokane, Washington; the Skagit Poetry Festival in La Conner, Washington; Centrum Writers Conference in Port Townsend, Washington;
The Bistro on the Penn State Campus and at the Martin Library in York, Pennsylvania; and at Carmichael's Books in Louisville, Kentucky.
2008—"No Direct Route Home"—surprising detours paired with the artwork of Sarah Spencer were
produced as postcards and as part of the National Poetry Month displays at four Madison public library locations,
and distributed at the Milward Farrell Fine Arts Gallery, Ma Cha Teahouse & Gallery, Absolutely Art, Bungalow Gallery, Java Joint
Escape Coffeehouse & Gallery, Zu Zu Cafe & Market, and Avol's Bookstore.
2005—"Postage Due"—modes of written communication published on java jackets and
bookmarks were made available at Michelangelo's and Fair Trade coffeehouses, A Room of One's Own
and Avol's bookstores, and at the annual Wisconsin Book Festival in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The poems were
also featured in a literary periodical called A Cup of Poems and a Side of Prose, and on WisconsinPoet.com.
2004— Poems related to biking, walking
and an appreciation for nature were distributed by two different companies, Community Car and Budget Bicycles
in palm-sized vinyl-covered books tucked inside the glove compartments, and on laminated bookmarks attached to the handle bars.