To many, poetry is considered one of the most ‘elite’ forms ‘at the top’ of ‘high culture’. That might still be so for poetry in books, but there’s a whole new world beyond that: enter the world of street poetry and Instagram-poetry. Literary scholar Kila van der Starre will lead you into this world.
Kila van der Starre (Utrecht University) just finished her PhD research project on ‘poetry off the page’. Her research focuses on the ways people use poetry in their daily lives. Think about Instagram poetry, street poetry, tattoo poetry, poetry on the radio, poetry in obituaries and poetry on utensils, such as coffee mugs, aprons and pillowcases.
When walking around Dutch and Flemish cities and towns, poetry seems to be everywhere! Poems can be found on walls, windows, bridges, monuments, trees and many more locations in our public areas. Who places those poems there? Why? And what can street poetry teach us about poetry in the 21st century?
Fun fact: did you know the Dutch poem ‘IJsvogel’ (‘Kingfisher’) by Arie van den Berg is said to be the most reprinted and most widely circulated poem ever? It was featured on the last ten guilder note (see in the picture above), which was printed 325 million times
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