In September 2011, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion saw their idea and month of work come to fruition—the first 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) worldwide poetry events, held on the last Saturday in September. Little could they imagine back then that it would continue and grow for the next ten years! This year will mark the Tenth Anniversary of 100 Thousand Poets for Change—a global movement still coordinated by Michael and Terri, but with a life of its own. Musicians, artists, and even Mimes have joined in.
The organization has over the years focused on three general areas globally: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice. Around the world, organizers and groups focus on these issues as they fit in local contexts plus other local issues that require attention to bring about positive change. In 2015, Michael and Terri worked with 100TPC organizers in Italy to put together the 100TPC World Conference in Salerno, Italy.
How it Works
Each year activists, writers, artists, musicians, dancers, mimes gather in events to promote positive change. The content is up to the local organizers and participants. Generally, there is a focus on the three global themes: peace, sustainability, and social justice. We at The BeZine work with these three themes in the context of spirituality (religious or non-religious).
The official date for 100TPC each year is the last Saturday in September. Some local organizers do events near to the official date rather than on it, most often to avoid conflicts. (For example, if a date falls on a religious holiday that would prevent people from attending.) However, there are now 100TPC events, fundraisers, online readings year round. And there will be several Zoom readings this summer organized around the world, during this Time of Coronavirus.
Depending on local and global conditions of the pandemic, there may be many more online events this year than in the past. In the past few years, The BeZine has moved to quarterly issues that focus on the three global 100TPC areas and added, for our “local” context, an issue on spirituality (and activism). In this way, each of our quarterly issues has become a sort of 100TPC publication event!
The BeZine and 100TPC
Jamie Dedes, our founding editor and editor-in-chief emerita, has been involved with 100TPC since almost the beginning. I started with 100TPC in 2013, organizing an event year and each year since events in Jerusalem or with Karen Alkalay-Gut in Tel Aviv. I also participated in the 100TPC World Conference in Salerno, Italy in 2015. I joined The BeZine team that same year, and have co-hosted our virtual event since 2015. This year will be my sixth year organizing with The BeZine, and my seventh year with 100TPC.
The BeZine, in its Bardo Group incarnation, ran a series of blog posts, “Poets Against War, Poets for Peace,” in September 2013 (Bardo News: Poets Against War, Poets for Peace). By 2014, The Bardo Group held its first online virtual poetry event as part of 100TPC (READY, SET, GO … The backstory on 100,000 Poets for Change …. The BeZine has held an online event each year since. Originally aimed for the home-bound who wanted to participate, our 100TPC virtual event has grown into a worldwide, inclusive 100TPC event.
Save the Date for this Year!
We will hold our annual online 100TPC at The BeZine again this year, on the “official” date for 100TPC: 26 September, 2020. So, save that date! In addition, we will be co-sponsoring All Africa Poetry Symposium in Celebration of 100 Thousand Poets for Change 10-Year Anniversary at 8 AM US East Coast, early afternoon in the Africa time zones. Read more here (including times in Africa). With this new mix of live-stream poetry, we hope to provide an exciting 100TPC virtual BeZine event. We plan to live-stream in The BeZine Facebook groups and on YouTube…stay tuned for more information.
Saturday, 26 September, 2020!
A Ten-Year Anniversary Anthology of Essays
This year, 100TPC has decided to embark on an anthology of essays to mark the ten-year history, covering organizing experiences, local iterations, impressions (of organizers, participants, audience members…), the Salerno conference, and the associated initiative Michael and Terri began a few years ago, Read a Poem to a Child.
Readers, contributors, and team-members of The BeZine may be interested in contributing to this effort, either from the perspective of The BeZine, or from their own experiences with 100TPC locally. Anyone with a perspective on 100TPC, please consider submitting.See the call for submissions