Jenni B. Baker
four erasures from 101 Science Experiments
As a practitioner of found poetry, my work celebrates the poetry in the existing and the everyday. Most poets begin with an idea and find the words; I begin with the words and find an idea.
I start with sources as diverse as product packaging, junk mail, newspapers and literary texts, excerpting words and phrases that I then erase and weave into new poems. In the resulting works, disparate pieces comprise a whole that differs from, responds to or elucidates the source text.
Nothing — not poetry, not fiction, not nonfiction — is ever created ex-nihilo. All writing betrays an influence — elements of story and style gathered from writers who came before.
Through my work, I seek to spark new dialogue about how we define words like creativity and originality, and demonstrate that often the only difference between found poetry and “traditional” writing is that the former’s sources are showing.
Jenni B. Baker is the editor-in-chief of The Found Poetry Review. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in more than three dozen literary journals, including DIAGRAM, Washington Square, BOAAT, Nashville Review, and Swarm. Her Oulipo-generated chapbook, Comings/Goings, was released by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. In her current project, Erasing Infinite (http://www.erasinginfinite.com), she creates poetry from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, one page at a time.