April 9, 2016
4:49 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith


Exquisite Corpse is a method of rough assemblage invented by the Surrealists, in which collaborators sequentially string words or pictures together to form a novel whole. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate April as Poetry Month, why not host an Exquisite Corpse Party?

You’ll find that the element of obfuscation is part of the joy, as players are only given partial slices of information or fixed rules as prompts when their turn comes up. Untethered by a view of where the overall composition is headed, each contributor’s imagination is freed to range and roam far beyond the norm. With each rotation, what can’t be seen grows exponentially more intriguing. It’s as if the blinders spur (rather than hinder) creativity. A restricted view serves to break habits by eliminating the distraction of expectation and norm. (Click “Read More”)

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December 8, 2015
10:29 am

posted by
Tamsin Smith

Tamsin’s poem “Imaginary Landscape” is featured in a new collection Lightening Strikes, along with former U.S. Poet Laureates Billy Collins, Robert Haas, and Richard Blanco, and Bay Area luminaries Bill Berkson, Peter Coyote, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jack Hirschman, 18 poets were paired with 18 painters, who produced unique visual responses to the verse. The opening reception with poetry readings is December 12th.

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August 10, 2015
10:18 am

posted by
Tamsin Smith

A Role Worth Perfecting

Tamsin Smith gives the annual poetry address to close the Aspen Action Forum.

Click to View Video

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July 22, 2015
4:02 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith


All hail
You people with the cleverer hands, our supplanters
In the beautiful country; enjoy her a season, her beauty, and come down
And be supplanted; for you also are human.

excerpt from Robinson Jeffers “Hands

Each summer, the Aspen Institute gathers its network of entrepreneurial leaders from 13 different geographical regions across the globe around a topic designed to spark values-driven action. This year, we convene with “Collaboration” as our inspiration.

Collaboration is the very real driver of enterprise accomplishment. Everything from designing Apps to developing vaccines relies on team effort, regardless of how engaged and innovative the founder or lead scientist happens to be. Digging deeper, however, success depends on the technological and clinical insights — plus the revelatory mistakes — of prior generations. We have such basics as the discovery of static electricity (600 BC) and cell biology (1665), as well as the brilliance of those who carried these early insights forward in the 18th Century, to thank for both the sharing economy and polio eradication.
(Click “Read More”)

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June 21, 2015
11:08 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith


I have mixed feelings about what is surfacing on my Facebook feed this week. I don’t want to turn away from what is there, nor from what is absent. I know that digital display doesn’t render emotion inauthentic; for many it is a vibrant, immediate, healthy mode of communication. Yet, I don’t trust myself to post any update that would not ring as tragically thin in the face of news that nine human beings have been gunned down in a Charleston church.

So I’m stepping back to write this, taking more time to think all of the news items in recent memory and throughout history that have left me wishing I could move somewhere beyond speechlessly sad.

It is an ancient, timeless, present ache, this constant drumbeat of man’s inhumanity to man…. (Click “Read More”)

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March 22, 2015
5:05 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith


I wonder why we come again and again
to these places where footpaths suddenly end. 

excerpt “Chasms” by Radcliffe Squires

Honest poems invite return again and again. They beckon sly surrender to the unknown, each in their own fashion. And, as if by tribal rule, one can never enter the same poem the same way twice. 

Sometimes the tugging lure of a particular verse can be traced to a single line — one that vibrates with incandescent clarity upon first reading, but seduces with hazy opacity at second approach. Sometimes a melodic pattern of word play seems to strikes a sacred chord, but later echoes with deceptive cadence. Once the listener begins to inhabit a poem’s rooms, mysteries of a more intimate nature begin to reveal themselves.

For this is the beauty and grandeur of poetry. The chasm charms with the loveliness of unfinished ideas, the shape-shifting enticement to look beyond the finite… (Click “Read More”)

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February 20, 2015
10:26 am

posted by
Tamsin Smith


Here’s the brand story behind our relaunch of mission-driven Yerdle as the people-powered store with the best prices on earth. Don’t miss the groovy video we created to illustrate the fun of minimizing consumption and maximizing generosity to life.

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July 31, 2014
11:33 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith

Poetry in Action

Watch Tamsin Smith’s poetry talk at the Aspen Institute’s Action Forum.

Aspen Institute : Leadership in Action

“In the presence of Great Art, there are no innocent bystanders”.

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July 26, 2014
8:40 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith


The emotions - love, mirth, the heroic, wonder, tranquility, fear, anger, sorrow, disgust - are in the audience.

John Cage - composer, music theorist, artist, writer, disruptor

It took John Cage’s 4’33” of non-action at the piano to illustrate that silence isn’t what we thought, nor is music. His gift was the experience of listening to the sounds of our own heartbeats and confusion. Robert Rauschenberg’s seemingly empty White Painting panels make us question the border between creativity and reality, the intentional and the actual, perception and authorship, outrage and insight. And then there is verse. Great poems pry us open in the most subtle, delicious, disarming, and discerning ways. Beyond digital revolutions and innovation economics; Art can be a most effective agent of disruption. (Click “Read More”)

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June 23, 2014
11:23 pm

posted by
Tamsin Smith

Peer-to-Peer Poetry

How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?

- exerpt Stanley Kunitz’s poem “The Layers

Poetry is the ultimate stealth weapon. All that white space appears so unassuming, so accomodating, so gently inviting. Yet one simple line can pierce and lodge itself deep inside the human command center, sending the whole operating system into chaos. But, what beautiful chaos. What a profound regenerative reminder that our truths are never really lost. It’s just that we — over time — bury what we know beneath layers of negation, confusion, ambition, or despair. (Click “Read More”)

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