Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr. Alphabet, Dave Morice

This week our spotlight is on Dr. Alphabet himself, Dave Morice. Where do I start with this guy? He's done it all, and then some. I mean, he's written poetry marathons, played poetry poker, co-authored (with 500 contributors) a novel composed of 2,000 fortune cookie fortunes collaged together, and written a sci-fi fantasy novel which is a "word-order palindrome in which the words in the first half reverse their order to make the second half." And that's just for starters!

Mr. Morice is nothing if not generous, which you can see from these poetry tokens he created which are "Good for One Poem." (Recipients could either keep the tokens or turn them in for a poem, which he would make up on the spot.)

He's also drawn Poetry Comics, like these:

When we were discussing activities for National Poetry Month, he said, "Writing a poem a day is a very good idea. Another thing teachers could do with their classes is to write (on a calendar) a poem at the rate of one word per day. The students can suggest words, and then vote on which one should be used that day. Then they have a whole new day to wonder about what the next word will be. It calls attention to how words connect. If the first word is THE, then the second word could be many things, but it couldn't be IS, for instance." If you try this, let us know how it turns out!

He has a new release coming out -- a children's epic poem about a leprechaun named Scratch O'Flattery. The intro/invocation to the Muse goes like this:

I sing, O Muse, of a story I know
Of a Leprechaun boy just three inches low.
Grant me the words, O Gods of Green;
Sharpen my memory ever so keen.
Help me recall that tale of old,
Of Wars that were fought over Leprechaun gold,
Of a Leprechaun seeking to find a lost ring,
Who gained for himself the title of “King”
And found in the end a wife to match;
So to tell the whole story I’ll start from scratch!
Scratch O’Flattery lived in Dorn,
The Leprechaun town in which he was born.


Mr. Morice is a fixture in Iowa City, IA, which was named one of UNESCO's Cities of Literature, along with Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia. I haven't been to Melbourne yet, but Iowa City and Edinburgh seem like perfect choices for Cities of Literature to me. Edinburgh ran a Poetry Postcard/Carry a Poem program this year, which included postcards like this:

By the way, there are also UNESCO Cities of Music (Seville, Glasgow, Bologna, and Ghent), Crafts and Folk Art (Aswan, Kanazawa, and Santa Fe), and Gastronomy (Popayan and Chengdu), among other things.

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