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100 Thousand Poets for Change founders visit AUS
Poets across the planet have participated in a celebration of poetry to promote serious social and political change at a global event entitled 100 Thousand Poets for Change. The founders of the initiative, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, visited American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Monday, November 21 while in the emirate at the invitation of the Sharjah International Book Fair.
The talk was organized by Nicholas Karavatos, Assistant Professor in the AUS Department of English, who introduced the speakers and said, "Through poetry, we hope to transform society into what we ideally envision."
During the talk, Rothenberg explained that during the 1960s, poets in the US had been very active in the peace movement. "It always seemed right, as a poet, to be involved in change. But as time went on I felt that poets had become part of the system. They had preoccupied themselves with careers and up until recent years, poets were only saying what was politically correct," said Rothenberg. It was after the Arab Spring earlier this year, and the other revolutions taking place worldwide, that the idea of starting an event for global solidarity came to being.
In March, Rothenberg and Carrion launched the idea of 100 Thousand Poets for Change on Facebook and very soon it had sparked global interest. They decided to observe 100 Thousand Poets for Change day on September 24, 2011. The idea spread rapidly over social media and in countries that they had never anticipated joined in the event, with 700 events held in 550 cities of 95 countries, including Malaysia, Afghanistan, Italy, India and the UAE, to name a few.
Based on the success of the event, the next 100 Thousand Poets for Change event will be held on September 29, 2012.