It was probably in 1995 or ’96 that Danika Dinsmore made me aware of a form of poetry called Present Beau, a kind of poem that employs the restraint of using only the letters in someone’s name in the poem itself. Thomas Walton of Pageboy Magazine has been using anagrams lately and the more and more I play with them, the more I am fascinated.
One trick, shared here in a past post for Danika herself, is to use the letters of someone’s name to add some zest to birthday wishes. Rather than just saying “Happy Birthday” and being one in a long line of Facebook friends doing the same thing, I started taking a few minutes to weave together some anagrams for the person, not in strict accordance with Oulipo, since they are language fundamentalists anyway. Some examples:
A mild macho miscue for one and hardliner moth for the other! Who would have come up with these? Not many folks. And as I related in a recent post, I have been part of a Cornish College residency Post-Disciplinary Texts. Curated by Julia Greenway and Jessica Hoffman, the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator residency attempts to encourage artistic risk-taking by supporting artists creating work outside of their usual genre, discipline or comfort zone. My part will include anagrams, among other things and one of my American Sentences this week came out of the effort with playing with language in this way.
3.3.15 – She calls herself Julia Greenway, to us she’s Iguana Jewelry.