CincyInk: The Cincinnati Tattoo Project
If you were asked to write a love letter to Cincinnati, to share with the entire city, how would you go about it? You could ask people in Cincinnati what they love about the city and turn those conversations into poems, Short Order Poetry-style. Then use those poems as source material for a love letter in the form of a poem.
That was the pitch that Mike Fleisch, one of Chase Public's founders, gave to ArtWorks. ArtWorks had seen Short Order Poetry at work before, sponsoring it at the MidPoint Music Festival in 2013. They eagerly agreed to select Chase Public to write the CincyInk poem.
They also wanted to see a small section first. On a Wednesday night in June, 2014, four Chase Public poets got together: Mike Fleisch, Scott Holzman, Nathan Swartzendruber and Dan Todd. They combed through poems written at the MidPoint Music Festival for passages and phrases about the city, and they individually wrote short stanzas and ideas. Here's what they put together that night and edited over the next few days.
The writing work was done in two phases. First, writers would find a quiet space to work individually. After writing for a set period of time, the group would reassemble. Usually we would go around the room and have writers read aloud what they'd written (that they wanted to share).
Next, writers would add their text to a shared online document that everyone could edit. Once in this group document, anyone could copy and paste the pieces together or edit or rewrite them. The software didn't color-code typing or track who made what changes. Many individual contributions quickly melted into the group's alloy, though some phrases can still be tracked back to a person's solo writing.
Next steps: MidPoint Music Festival 2014, Lumenocity 2014, the postcards, the final writing.