The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is a network of artists committed to assertively wielding their creative voices in the service of progressive social change. Conceptualized by some as “poetry & percussion to protect the peace,” the poetry insurgencies primary goals include inventing new media; reclaiming public space; building diverse communities of artists; and facilitating the expression of individual convictions. GPI’s core initiative entailed an outdoor open mic hosted every two weeks in a public park (DuPont Circle). In addition to poetry, the insurgency also featured a drum corps, sidewalk chalk available for public use; and random multimedia elements such as homemade percussion devices made from recycled bottles. GPI created a festival-like atmosphere, pervaded by progressive messages around a host of issues including war, peace, and economic justice. GPI also performed at events organized by other peace & justice groups, such as a recent fundraiser for the Washington Peace Center featuring Amy Goodman, and the Operation Ceasefire concert attended by several tens of thousands of anti-war marchers on September 24, 2005. The group also played a central role in the DC peace & justice community as an outreach vehicle, distributing a weekly e-calendar featuring rallies, meetings and other events to a list of over 500 audience members. Finally, the group conducted “lyrical ambushes” consisting of small packs of artists roaming streets or mass transit.

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