A little bit of creative inspiration is making its way to Creston on July 15.
On July 1, Maya Stein and Amy Tingle, of Nutley, N.J., will begin a 30 day journey — riding a tandem bicycle from Boulder, Colo., to Beloit, Wis., — through America’s heartland writing free poems and building Little Free Libraries.
The endeavor, which the pair call “Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour” is described as a pair of poets riding a tandem bicycle 1,400 miles to promote poetry, community, a love of reading and the spirit of collaboration.
“Part of the meaning and message of this trip is collaboration and how cooperation can create amazing things you can’t do by yourself,” Stein said.
Through Kickstarter, the pair have raised almost $4,000 beyond their original goal of $26,000 for this year’s tour.
Along the route, Stein and Tingle will build more than 27 Little Free Libraries. The duo have partnered with Little Free Library, an organization with a similar mission to promote literacy, community and creativity through building free book exchanges worldwide.
Creston’s Little Free Library will be decorated by Creston:Arts volunteers. The location of the small structure has not yet been determined, but will serve as a gathering place where anyone is welcome to “take a book, return a book.”
Creston:Arts will welcome Stein and Tingle by hosting an open mic night and poetry slam, where members of the community are encouraged to read, recite, sing, rap or scream poetry or songs.
At the event, Stein and Tingle will be creating personalized poetry on their typewriters for the people they meet. Attendees will be asked to submit one word from which Stein and Tingle will base two separate and original poems.
Stein said they will be giving the poems away.
Also, copies, photographs from the road and interviews with local poets and writers and profiles of some community members will be included in a final book about the project.
Stein said this tour is the second installment of a project she completed in the summer of 2012, where she towed a typewriter behind her bicycle from North Hampton, Mass., to Milwaukee, Wis., over a 40 day period.
During her first tour, Stein wrote a new writing prompt on her typewriter each day, asking passersby to add a line to the poem.
The idea was originally inspired by her father, who placed a typewriter in the common hallway, which linked up all of her family member’s bedrooms.
“The hallway was a landing spot at the top of the stairs,” Stein wrote on her blog. “A shared space that served as a kind of pause between our gatherings as a family and the solitude of where we each slept.”
Stein said, each night she would read what someone else had written and add her own words.
“That story and the stories that followed fed my imagination, drew me more deeply into my own creativity, and created an inextricable bond between those of us who wrote it together,” she said.
If you are interested in performing during open mic night on July 15, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional details about the Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour stop in Creston will be posted on www.facebook.com/crestonarts as they become available.
For more information on Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour or to view Stein and Tingle’s entire itinerary, visit www.food4thesoultrain.com.