The Poetic Action (or Poetry in Action) Movement started in Monterrey, NL, Mexico in 1996.
It was founded by the Mexican poet Armando Alanís Pulido and consists in "intervening" street walls: painting them with a white-based color and writing micro-poems or fragments of poetry in them. The purpose was to produce an "anthology of street poetry" and to approach people in their daily life and integrate poetry into the landscape.
It became a mural-literary phenomenon. In Mexico, there are over 180 cities with interventions of Acción Poética (as it is called in Spanish), and the phenomenon quickly spread to over 30 countries in the world, like Spain, Angola, and Italy.
Although the movement started with the lyrics and verses of Alanis himself, now there a large number of freelance authors and self-organized groups.
"Beware of your fears, they love to steal your dreams." Poetic Action in Peru.
The first rule of the movement is that the paintings should not contain political o religious slogans, and to keep a loving, respectful tone.
Four other rules were added later to ensure the look and feel of the movement:
- The poems should not contain more than 10 words (it started with 8)
- Poems should not have more than 5 lines of text
- Keep the white background with black letters, to simulate the writings on a piece of paper
In words of his founder Armando Alanís:
"Poetic action is a recovery and revaluation of public literary graffiti, in the midst of works of a plastic nature, called urban art. (...) Saying more with less is one of the premises of that project. From the action provoke a reaction and reflection. In this case, the reaction has been phenomenal.
There is even Poetic Action in braille made with 'corcholatas' (metal caps from soft-drinks bottles). In the end, is the revaluation and appropriation of public space with poetry. It is an action that we sometimes carry out without the sponsorship of any official authority because the idea is that poetry is an everyday part of the public landscape."
"Without poetry, there is no city" is the movement's official slogan.
"I believe in the idea that poetry can change people, can change the world and make better people," says this artist who has received several awards throughout his career, such as the Nicolás Guillen International Poetry Prize (2008).
At Kadance Shop we are bringing #PoeticAction even closer to your heart: to your t-shirts. Wearable art! Check all the models available right now, with new ones coming every week. Embrace this lovely and inspiring movement of poetry in action.
Also, check this book.