An often heard remark on the economics of poetry, at least among those unlucky enough to be listening, is that it devalues the paper on which it is printed. This comment, attributed to the poet and Ivy League professor of poetry Charles Bernstein, probably isn’t true. For example, March 21st (something otherwise patronizingly called “World Poetry Day”) is “Pay With a Poem Day” at select Julius Meinl locations around the world. For one day, at least if you live in Chicago or Miami, a handwritten poem will be worth a cup of coffee, assuming, of course:
“By writing your poem (the “Poem”) on the sheet you represent and warrant that the Poem is original to you and that you hold all applicable legal rights in the Poem and that the Poem does not and will not infringe the rights of any other person or entity, including without limitation any copyright. Please do not write a Poem which is not original to you as this may constitute a breach of copyright or another applicable legal right.
You agree that we, Julius Meinl Industrieholding GmbH, may use the Poem in our discretion for any reason and that you are granting us an irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive and permanent licence to reproduce or publish the Poem or make the Poem available for any media support (e.g. on the internet) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, including in particular (without limitation) for the marketing of our products and services. Except for any service you are granted by us with the “pay with a poem” programme in return for a poem, this licence is granted by you free of charge.”
Poetic License: a bookstore curated by Karl Saffran offers an alternate arrangement, presenting books of poetry as objects worthy of consideration and worth considerably more than a cup a coffee. Featuring selections from a variety of small publishers and exclusive recordings from contemporary poets, Poetic License grants art gallery patrons access into the world of poetry and aims for an irrevocable shift in the value of poetry.
For over six years, Karl Saffran ran the bookstore at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI. In Milwaukee, he curated the Salacious Banter Reading Series with Mike Hauser, and worked as gallery manager at The Green Gallery. He was also managing director of Flying Object, an experimental art and publishing organization in Hadley, Massachusetts. Karl Saffran lives in Chicago and works for the Poetry Foundation and Urban Gateways.
March 18th – May 7th > Reception March 18th > 5-8pm