Public Poetry

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I’m interested in Roland Barthes’s idea that mythology is essentially a type of speech, and that speech defines a culture. Poetry can define the dominant languages we have in culture—and now those languages are advertising and the news media.

So says Robert Montgomery, a Scottish poet who creates public art with his poems by posting them over advertising billboards, in empty swimming pools, at airports, and on the backs of pickup trucks. Labels like vandal don’t deter Montgomery. When he was arrested for vandalism, he used it as an opportunity to talk to the officer about literature and art.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →