Poetry Bomb Goes Off in Venice

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A real bomb filled with explosive poetry began a nationwide tour at Beyond Baroque, April 25. The bomb, now named Elsie, is a brainchild of poet S.A. Griffith.

It began life as a 100-pound Vietnam era weapon. Griffith obtained it about two years ago and enlisted help to begin extensive remodeling of the interior and painting and striping of the exterior. As word of the bomb leaked out, letters with poems began arriving from around the world. The kickoff event in Venice ensured that poems by Venetians would be well represented. Among those attending were well-known poets including Frank T. Rios (who set fire to a poem in honor of The Lady), Ellyn Maybe, Michael C. Ford, Lynne Bronstein, Richard Modiano, Susan Hayden, Linda Albertano and Yvonne de la Vega.

Griffith says more than 400 poems are now in the bomb and that he anticipates another 400 being added at stops around the country. Submissions by email are now closed.

The first poem he received was from a veteran in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a haiku: Ex Marine/contemplates Nagasaki/atop Mt. Fuji.

Griffith says he has been looking for a bomb to remodel for five or six years. His dream of a Poetry Bomb Tour became a reality April 28, when he climbed into an old Ford Econoline Van and set off with the bomb for a 55 day trek to coffee houses around the country.

Learn more about the Poetry Bomb on Facebook.

-Jim Smith

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