The Boulder Poetry Map is a way to rethink and re-know the city. A map, generally speaking, imposes a system of knowledge upon a place. It denotes the official names of streets and buildings, displays property ownership, tells the reader where s/he can or can’t go – that kind of thing. This map is different. It is, I hope, what Stephen Voyce calls a “counter map,” a map “that disrupt[s] and reconstitute[s] notions of place, space, landscape and community.” This map asks the reader to explore the city through poetry, to understand the spaces within it differently because of the poems.
Front Range poets and artists (along with some poets and artists who have passed through) contribute works that are in some way related to a particular point on the map, a site in the city. The poems here are not descriptions of a place per se. Rather they are impressions of place. In some cases, they are poems that were composed at a particular location, in a coffee shop on Pearl Street, on a patio overlooking the Flatirons – that is their connection to that place. In other cases, they are poems that are the result of an event that occurred at a specific shop, apartment or streetcorner. In still other cases, a poem might formally reflect or comment upon a bit of Boulder architecture, or they might be composed of a bit of text appropriated from signs and window dressing. In each case, the poet has connected his/her poem to a location. And we, as readers of the map and the poems, perhaps have an opportunity to gain a new understanding of the spaces that we might think we know well. Perhaps the poetry here will allow us to understand ourselves a bit differently – our selves in time and space – our selves in relation to each other – our selves in the city in which we live, work or visit.
This project is the result of a collaboration between the Denver Poetry Map and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA). The initial release of the Boulder Poetry Map will coincide with the 2015 Biennial of the Americas and with BMoCA’s rich array of poetry programming that will be a part of that month-long event. We hope to shine a light upon the incredibly diverse and and linguistically rich poetry that is produced in the Boulder area. We want to encourage you, while wandering around the city, to look up a poem on your phone or laptop and experience the connection between the poem and the place. We want to encourage you to get to know the city of Boulder a bit differently than, perhaps, you did before you encountered our map.
This map will continue to grow and evolve. Bookmark us and come back often. If you have any questions or would like to submit some poetry, please contact us at:
Thanks for stopping by.