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Pop-Up Poets: What art in public spaces can teach us about being fearless


Poets in Unexpected Places (or PUP, “Pop-Up Poets”) is an NYC-based poetry performance group that creates large-scale poetry installations in public spaces like subway cars, ferries, classrooms, and parks.

They’ve had audiences react with indifference and (rarely) with hostility, but the overall response has been very positive. In addition to helping engage and connect people, the poets report that performing in public is helping them to get over their own nerves and fear, and become braver.

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  • Carolyn Sams

    Ooo this makes me want to be in NY.

    I also love that final quote:
    “I believe in doing something with intention—to really dissect what you’re doing and why you’re doing it—otherwise it might seem like a frivolous action. It’s okay to be afraid, as long as it’s not paralyzing or destabilizing, but the intention and the passion have to be there,” Samantha says.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I love how this almost disruptive form of connecting causes people to connect to others in a more genuine way bec it comes with a genuine intention and the performers are unleashing fears too.