RANDY BURMAN: Department of Poetry Works

The Department of Poetry Works sounds vaguely Utopian and moderately utilitarian, but when broken down its aim is deceptively simple: traffic signs are installed around the city, with snippets of poetry replacing rules and warnings. Randy Burman—an installation artist, portraitist and poet residing in Miami—is behind the fictional Department of Poetry Works and his latest project is “a temporary, unofficial, bureaucratic entity in Miami-Dade County with the task of repairing, maintaining, and updating public instances of poetry.” Some are labeling it Bureaucratic Poetry, but Randy is quick to point out that “the use of the term ‘bureaucratic’ is ironic for this project where the status quo bureaucracies are purposely being circumvented.” Randy insists that “this is poetry off the page and in the street. [It’s] meant to intervene into normal situations and turn them, if momentarily, into literary experiences and hopefully stimulate a heightened sensorial elation.” Randy curated poems ranging in mood and tone, but they remain united in their goal to stage “little interventions [that] stimulate the discoverer’s sense of humanity.” 

“Times, styles and circumstances change, but one thing is constant and certain. Our need to understand each other is what ‘really’ matters. That’s what this project is about.”

Read more about Randy Burman and The Department of Poetry Works here.


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