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The Poetry Circus

Art in Context

The Poetry Circus was inspired by the release of the collection, In the Circus of You, by Nicelle Davis, published by Rose Metal Press. The Poetry Circus is part workshop, community outreach, performance, ride, dance, and creations. This community focused and driven event blurs the line between performer and audience to allow everyone the chance to run away and join the circus.

a woman in a green dress, with carnival make-up, and star headdress, speaks at a mic.

Author of In the Circus of You, poet Nicelle Davis.

By presenting poetry in an alternative venue, the egalitarian characteristics of poetry are amplified. Poetry IS for everyone, regardless of where we come from or how we got there; we all process and understand the world through metaphor.

I was fortunate to be one of the readers at the February event at Griffith Park.

Here is more from the GoFundMe page:

Poetry is the truth we’d rather not hear brought to us by an unheard melody we cannot ignore. Poetry makes the truth palatable—it helps us digest reality by seasoning it with dreams. It smells like rain and connects us to the world. It makes us look at one another, care about each other.

You cannot hold a poem without feeling a little more human. Poetry is important because it is culture—it tricks us, fools us into being kind.

For example, it has been the circus and poetry that have protected and provoked me to go after my own life. I guess I want to share this gift with people of all ages—my message: this is the one and glorious life!

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And here is a little feedback shared by someone who attended that February event:

Memory improves many things and for me, the circus is no exception. In my mind, the swirling kaleidoscope of nearly psychedelic costumes, performers and music are attractive images of outsider life. The circus is an invitation to join, even for the brief performance, a special tribe.

In February of this year, the Los Angeles based poet, Nicelle Davis, offered people a chance to join a version of the circus when she hosted an event at the Griffith Park Carousel called “The Poetry Circus”.

The event took place at the carousel in Griffith Park.  Twenty poets read as riders whirled round on the wooden horses. Classic circus performers mingled with audience members. Sideshow booths with performers, small press publishers, community outreach groups and craft tables, for children and adults alike, provided interactive activities. A typewriter ensemble improvised poetry on demand. For those in attendance beneath the chasing clouds of a March sky, the moment captured the imagination.

The goal goes beyond Los Angeles however, with plans/hopes of collaborating with communities and artists across the nation, namely in Alaska, Boston, Colorado,  Minneapolis, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Portland, Seattle, and Utah.

Go and support this beautiful, unique, and worthy project that brings people together.

man at a typewriter by the carousel

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