Literary Detroit

Via The Miami Foundation


To jump start a monthly series that includes communal composition, word games and more giving poets and audience members a space to co-create poems and stories and play with language

The Motor Signal Reading Series invites local poets to read their work, then goes beyond the typical poetry reading by asking performers to involve the audience in an act of literary co-creation. Past readers have prompted the audience to contribute a line or two of poetry according to different constraints — write in the voice of someone you know, or use a particular word, for example — with audience members called upon to read the collaborative poem. Other readers facilitated a political talkback based on the themes in their work, and experimented with text-message poetry sent from the audience to the readers in real time. Co-sponsored by Literary Detroit and letterpress studio Signal-Return, the new series breaks down barriers between the poet and audience and is welcoming to the attendees, many of whom haven’t encountered poetry since grade school.

Project Team

The Miami Foundation