Take a pause from your daily digital grind for a few minutes and open your mind. It is then that you can create new understandings or spark a long lost memory. This is what Erin Livingston with Poetry on Demand asks of her audience.
“My job as an artist is to merely facilitate the experience and present you with a tangible work of poetry that is absolutely dependent upon collaboration. Poetry on Demand provides each patron with the opportunity to interact with the artist at the moment of creation in ways that other mediums might not allow. In this way patrons have significant input on the genesis of each piece and make it a true collaboration.”
Erin went to school to become a music educator, and instead left with a degree in Anthropology. Somewhere along the way, she fell in love with the Beat Generation. Now, she stands with her typewriters and thousands of miles logged on Greyhounds with hundreds of stages under her feet. “I enjoy talking to people, writing and traveling. Poetry has allowed me to do all of these things. In order to do poetry, I have held every job under the sun. My resume for the art I make today is a patchwork quilt of lived experience, and I wouldn’t change a single stitch.”
Poetry on Demand is a way to make poetry accessible in a fun and personal way. Strangers must trust Erin with snapshots of their personal lives while she translates the experience of the exchanges into poems that are unique and meaningful. POD celebrates the art of active listening and returns value to face-to-face conversation between two strangers.
“In a time when we can polish our self-presentation online and communicate in heavily edited text day in and day out, the act of live and unscripted conversations between strangers serves to slow us down, if only for a moment. Producing the final poem via an antique Royal typewriter, a medium void of delete keys and copy/edit shortcuts, makes each work I create an intentional celebration of all our beautiful imperfections.”
Erin has an impressive resume with a wide range of gigs. She is a former Slam Master of the Indianapolis Poetry Slam and former curator of the live, theme-based variety show The Encyclopedia Show at The Irving Theater. If you want to find her work online, it is available at the Indiefeed Poetry Podcast. Currently, she is collaborating with Adam Henze on The Power of a Sentence, a series of writing workshops at the Indiana Women’s Prison. You can also catch her in Warsaw on August 15 at Funny HaHa or Funny Strange. If you live in Bloomington, stop by the Fourth Street Art Festival on August 30-21, where Erin is the Assistant Executive Director of the Spoken Word Stage.
This will be Erin’s first year as an ORANJE participant. “What excites me the most about ORANJE is the scale of the event. I’m excited to be sharing space with so many other talented artists that I might not otherwise get to see, which is a great reason for anyone to attend.”
You can find Erin on September 13 on the the lower level of the building.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” -Jack Kerouac