As part of Humanities Day at the University of Amsterdam, The Amsterdam Writers Guild (AWG) came up with the idea of a Poem-o-Matic as a way of show-casing the Guild’s activities.

 

Basically the idea is this: Two poets sit with 2 type-writers… Yes, type-writers! People wander past and give the writer a theme, an idea or an emotion. It is then up to the poet to compose a short-ish poem around those keywords, type it up and .. hey presto! A brand new piece of art, typed up just for you AND you can take it away with you… Magnificent Idea!

Here are some pictures of the morning session in action

tik masjien
The idea was to create something tactile and instant that people could take away with them… hence the typewriter!
Joris was 1st up... as one of the organisers, he was pretty stressed!
Joris was 1st up… as one of the organisers, he was pretty stressed!
Isadora fine tunes her type-writer with some practice verse
Isadora fine tunes her type-writer with some practice verse
Joost seemed pretty pleased with his piece of verse
Joost seemed pretty pleased with his piece of verse
Nadia was VERY happy with her poem!
Nadia was VERY happy with her poem!
Hard to tell what these two thought!
Hard to tell what these two thought!
I wrote a poem for this girl in turn for her boyfriend... interesting!
I wrote a poem for this girl in turn for her boyfriend… interesting!
This one was for a much-valued room-mate
This one was for a much-valued room-mate
Oona took over from Isadora with the writing work after an hour
Oona took over from Isadora with the writing work after an hour
Isadora and I working away hard!
Isadora and I working away hard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a writer, this was an interesting challenge. You literally have 30 seconds to asses the person, the words they have given you and find a tone and a voice and write something down. I wrote my poems on paper with a pen first and then fiddled a bit before typing them up… sometimes making more changes as I typed….

No time for writers block!