If you build it
"The Great Twin Cities Poetry Read is a celebration of community," says GTCPR curator and host Matt Mauch. "It's what the poet Lucile Clifton called 'a gathering of the tribe.'"
Unlike a journal or anthology, where an editor or editorial board selects the included poems for this reason or that, a feature of the annual GTCPR is that each poet reads an original, unpublished poem of his or her own choice, making each new installment in the Poetry, USA anthology series an author-driven work.
Intermission sponsored by the Pocket Lab Reading Series
After half or so of the 25 to 30 poets have read their poems, the audience and poets mingle during a 10-or-so-minute intermission. During the intermission and after the event, items donated by sponsors plus copies of the Poetry City, USA anthology series are available in exchange for donations to the GTCPR, all of which go toward prize money or some other predetermined worthy cause (Dean Young's new heart, for example, in the case of GTCPR II).
Poetry City, USA
Each GTCPR, beginning with the second annual event, doubles as the officially unofficial launch of the Poetry City, USA anthology compiled from the previous year's event (Poetry City, USA, Vol. 1, for example, launched at the second annual GTCPR, and Poetry City, USA, Vol. 2 will lauch and the third annual GTCPR, and so on). In addition to poems read at the events, the Poetry City, USA anthologies contain essays, interviews, reviews, comics, and other prose about poetry written by alumni and friends of the GTCPR.
Poets Choosing Poets
In the days following the event, the poets who read are asked to suggest the names of other poets who they would choose to replace them on the dais at the next year's GTCPR. It's not really curated nor orchestrated, then, the GTCPR, it's organizational method being much closer to jazz or even sampling.
Nuts + bolts
Follow these links for more information on each the GTCPRs:
• Inaugural GTCPR (dedicated to Lucille Clifton)
• Second annual GTCPR (a fundraiser for Dean Young's heart)
THE CEREMONIAL BEAVER-SKIN CAP
During each GTCPR, an authentic handmade beaver-skin cap holds as many adjectives as their are poets reading. Host Matt Mauch draws an adjective from the ceremonial cap, and then announces the poet, whose name is preceded by the randomly drawn adjective.
At the second annual GTCPR, poet Heid Erdich suggested that all of the adjectives should come from Shakespeare's collected works. In honor of her great idea, the randomly drawn adjectives will henceforth be known as "The Ceremonial Heid-Erdich Adjectives," making her name not only an adjective itself, but a compound one.