People, Poetry, and Videotape

By The Editors on 7.08.10

Following a tip from Poets & Writers on Twitter, I just read an article in Canada’s National Post about Katherine Leyton. Leyton is a young poet from Toronto who, with the help of a few friends, has been asking strangers to read poetry on camera for the blog, How Pedestrian. From the National Post article:

“I’ve been very surprised by how open people are to being approached, to hearing about the project and to engaging with poetry in front of a camera,” she says, and adds that about 95% of the people she approaches agree to read, and that those who refuse usually do so because they’re nervous about the camera, not the poetry. “I’m bothering people randomly, and yet almost everyone is genuinely excited about participating. The experience has really reminded me of how alive [Toronto] is,” she says. The majority of readers react noticeably to what they are reading, and many request to keep a copy of the poem, to which she always readily agrees.

Sometimes, the week’s poems are grouped around a theme, often tied to an event in Toronto. For two weeks in June she captured the World Cup fever that is consuming the city, bringing poems about soccer to the bars and cafes where supporters congregate. Last week featured G20 protesters reading poems about resistance.

Click through to watch one of the videos filmed at the G20 protests in Toronto.

Woman reading “Implosions” by Adrienne Rich in Toronto, June 2010

What do you think? Is the How Pedestrian blog on to something?

topics: News

1 Comment

Jessie Carty said on 7.09.10 at 9:20pm:

That is such a fun idea smile maybe I should break out my video camera again.