The Lenin Poems - Our First Strut
We took it to the streets. A little crowd formed. We began to read. Three local poets shared their Lenin Poems on the corner beneath The Lenin Statue in Fremont. Leo, pictured above, posted more photos here.
The artist wants to know how the people of Fremont feel about The Lenin Statue (clearly there are some strong feelings), and how Lenin feels about the people of Fremont (not so clear), and what this all means to people who live here and visit. I asked the poets to begin to explain. We received 59 poems. In 2 months, we'll have a contest winner. In the meantime, let's enjoy the poems.
This is, I hope, the start of what will be a rich discussion about what our community values and fears.
A contest winner has not yet been chosen. This reading was a sneak peek into the submissions. Judges are currently reviewing the poems (anonymously). Judges include: Vanessa DeWolf, Gregory Crosby and A. K. Allin (who will not read submissions anonymously). We received 59 Lenin poems, poems both small and light, large and serious, in English and Russian, in rhyming and in free verse. We thank the poets of Fremont and the world for taking the challenge.
Once a winner is chosen, that poem will be cast in bronze and placed with the statue. The judges will choose "the best of the rest" for publication in "The Lenin Poems," a chapbook which will be “publicly poured” over the statue on 4 July 2009. This "pouring" will read as performance and publication date. The hope is that these poems will be seen, read, taken and remembered.