TEDxYouth@TheWoodlands was this past Saturday, January 7th. It was such a privilege to share the stage with that amazing group of speakers and performers! For the opening of the conference day I created a kind of klepto-collaborative poem that I’ve never done before. I’m still a bit amazed my idea was welcomed so enthusiastically. Imagine proposing to event organizers a couple of weeks before the conference date, Hey, I’d like to do a multi-media version of my klepto-collaborative poem. But, well, I’ve never actually done anything like that before.
I was pretty sure I could pull it off. But more than anything I knew that I wanted to challenge myself, to explore new ways of narrative–of storytelling–with photos, video clips and words via the puzzle-piece mix-and-match klepto-collaborative poetry form that I’ve come to love. The organizers said yes and an invitation went out to the speakers, volunteers and registered attendees. Based on the theme of “Imaginate,” people were asked to fill in the blank, “I imagine a world where _____.” And then finish the statement, “I would create it by _____.”
A few thoughtful, inspired responses arrived via e-mail, but not enough for me to really do what I do. I sent word out to the larger TED communuity via Facebook, Twitter and email; a couple more submissions, but still not enough. I invited everybody, then, anybody who wanted to contribute to the project. And words began to pour in from all of the various folks I’d solicited. In addition to the TED folks I received word-gifts from the likes of author Anthony Doerr and poet D. A. Powell, from a couple of people I know only via the reader/responder community of Ann Leary’s blog, Wicked Good Life. People sent the invitation on to others and reposted and reTweeted. Before I knew it, I had more than enough. More words and images than I could ever utilize in 3 minutes of video time.
So much wordy goodness did I have to choose from that I kinda-sorta cheated, by making the video a minute longer than I’d planned or pitched. An extra minute isn’t really that long when you think about it, right? Anyway, I got away with it. Mostly because everybody’s words and ideas were the shiniest kind of good you could ever hope to choose from. So if you submitted something to me and your words don’t show up in this video–stay tuned!–I’ll be putting together another klepto-collaborative video (or two) to showcase more of the voices, images & video clips sent in.
I’ll get a full list of the contributors up here as soon as I’m able. I just really wanted to get this video posted sooner rather than later, and hunting through emails in my jam-packed Inbox would mean much “later” than I’d like. (later than you’d like, too, trust me)
See for yourself, this beautiful thing we have imagined and created together . . .
Please feel free to write your own responses of imagining & creating in the comments section; I’d love to hear how you envision a better world for us all. I’ll be posting the closing klepto-collaborative poem–crafted from all of the speakers at TEDxYouth@TheWoodlands–in a subsequent post.
Heartfelt fireworks & shooting star THANK YOUs to everybody who offered up their voices & visions for this project. I feel deeply honored that you shared your colorful, fantastical, unique, lush, glorious pieces of self and story with me ~~~