OlioHouse | Found Poetry: Literary Collages in Ordinary Places

None at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sat, Apr 27 at noon   |   90 minutes

Spend the weekend delving into the pleasures of found poetry - the art of transforming any kind of text into an original poem. We'll be reading poems, writing them, sharing over a bonfire and overall taking time to question our notions of what makes something a poem.

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them (a literary equivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The text can come from newspaper and magazine articles, books, letters (yours or someone else’s), poems, official documents, recipes, lyrics, or speeches.

During this OlioHouse weekend, we will read a range of found poems and discuss how they function both within the context of the original source and as distinct pieces of art. How does the original source enhance, contradict or extend the poem’s meaning? How is the poem a commentary on the original source or the context in which it was written or published? Are there sources that are too sacred or controversial to use?

Along with reading and discussing this form of poetry, Heather will also be conducting a workshop where she will guide us through the pleasures of writing our own found poems, which you will have the opportunity to share after dinner. You do not need to have any experience analyzing or writing poetry to participate in these Olios. This weekend is all about getting outside of the city and challenging our preconceived notions of what a poem is and where it comes from. Please bring a source text (see above for ideas!) as inspiration and a notebook and pen and let's collage together!

The writer Annie Dillard says that using an original text has the power to deepen a found poem’s perspective and intention: “The original meaning remains intact," she said, "but now it swings between two poles.”


Noon – Arrive at OlioHouse to freshly prepared, vegetarian lunch

1:00pm – Heather will distribute found poems for the group to read aloud, discuss, and analyze.

2:30pm – Free time to explore Wassaic and the local art project

4:00pm – Heather will host a writing workshop

7:00pm - 8:00pm – Dinner break

8:00pm - 10:00 pm – A Think Olio original reading: participants will share their poetry (optional) over a bonfire along with closing conversations.


Breakfast and Yoga

Teacher: Heather Aimee Fisher-O'Neill
Venue: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

What is Think Olio?

Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.