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Poetry Goes Guerilla!

It’s poignant, colourful, and may contain a poem by your neighbour. “Open Heart Forgery”, a monthly homemade poetry journal, has earned its place on the literary countertops of HRM cafes and bookshops over the past year. Creator Donal Power opens up to Arts East.

AE: Where did the initial concept for “Open Heart Forgery” come from?
DP: I’ve always been a fan of ‘leafleteering’… Trotsky was pretty good at it and I was a big fan of Trotsky. I always liked that idea of ‘getting the word out’, and even though presentation is good, I thought it was more important to get the word out in an easily reproducible form so that people could be heard and so that people who didn’t read poetry could get exposed to it.

AE: OHF claims to “energize Halifax writers from the grass roots up”. How is the journal is accomplishing this?
DP: I think it is starting to energize people and giving people a venue to be heard. It’s discouraging to write and not have any place to get published and often people will be writing secretly, but suddenly when they’re published they’re ‘outed’ as a writer and it kind of makes them feel like they are legitimized and hopefully encouraged to keep going

AE: The website describes OHF as a “guerilla poetry journal”; how would you describe its place within the Halifax arts scene?
DP: I’m not sure, I think that part of the idea is that people should feel that they can publish themselves and use everyday office equipment for the purpose of propagating art: fax machines, photocopiers, they can all be used for good and not evil… and this is the greater good! And I guess I hope that people will copy the idea if they want to start up their own OHF, but the other goal is to encourage people to find their voices, to get their voice heard.

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