the idea: because a book is a symbol of liberty, sharing and tolerance, many people left the house on the morning of September 11th, 2003 with a book which they had loved, wrote a dedication and let it free, left it on a bench, in the subway, in a café… to the mercy of an unknown reader. September 11th won't become a funereal anniversary if together we turn this date into a creative and anonymously generous action! Organisers said that more than 150,000 people took part in this book give-away initiative: ‘The idea has spread at an incredible speed by e-mail and the Internet’, said Paris-based poet and publisher Emmanuel Lequeux, who, along with a Belgian, an Italian and an American, dreamt up the idea in August 2003.
who: the ‘Poetic attack’ initiative was launched by ‘Poetic Revolution’, a movement founded by a group of poets and editors including among others Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Marianne Costa, Martin Bakero, Antonio Bertoli, Emmanuel Lequeux and David Giannoni.
where: on Thursday, September 11th, 2003, there was a genuine and wide-spread poetic mobilisation. In fact, many anonymous participants from all around the world but also poets, writers, publishers, and artists, from all beliefs and denominations, criss-crossed cities in order to liberate books important to them, books that had changed their vision of the world, sent out on the road... In the cities, people mobilised, most of them without having recourse to a specific meeting place. The initiative took place in different cities and countries: in Florence, Venice, Rome, and Naples (Italy); in Montreal (Quebec), the municipality set up a ‘podium’ in the centre of town; in Lille and in Avignon (France), authors and editors did the same thing; in Aubel (Belgium), a national radio show made these activities their main topic. In any case, the rallying points were primarily places where meetings and exchanges took place.
other attacks: in the past few years, the Poetic Revolution has promoted the following initiatives
- on June 30th, 2002 in Genoa, Italy, Poetic attacks organisers ‘bombed’ the city with thousands of poems thrown from the Palazzo Ducale.
- on March 21st, 2003 in Brussels, Belgium, an entire evening was dedicated to poetry composition and readings.