Compass Project: Guerrilla Poetry

stay wild stay grateful

**If you found your way here via a sticker: HI! AWESOME! My name is Audrey, I’m a NYC/Queens writer/poet/performer/curator-gal. All the words on the stickers are my own and you can find out more about the project, which started back in 2012, below. I have a new book which many of the words are from, in case you’d like to check it out: TRAVERSALS. Cheers!

THE STORY:

As of February 20th, 2012 the Compass Project has begun. Guerrilla poetry (and prose): my words slapped onto stickers and then stuck all around this fair city – and hopefully beyond, sooner than later!

This project was born from a few things I feel very strongly about, and from the great admiration I have for graffiti and street artists. Over the past few months, more than ever I have experienced the ephemerality of all things. It’s indescribably frightening and challenging but in the end – the secret is letting go. I wanted to release my words to the world all the while knowing they were impermanent – they could get torn off, blown away, destroyed by the elements – but what mattered is that they were there, for however long they’d stay, even if it was just for a day. It feels liberating to give your work to the world without expecting anything in return. It’s also a comment on gatekeepers and the subtle game they play with the creative psyche – it’s about taking the control back and not letting anyone else legitimize your art and what you do. We can get rejected from publications, festivals, galleries, anthologies, competitions, you name it, a thousand times over – but that doesn’t mean we’re not good enough. It doesn’t mean we should conform to what they are looking for. It doesn’t mean we should wait for someone else to say we’re a “REAL” writer, artist, filmmaker, singer.. Just be it. Don’t wait. In this case, I put my words where I wanted them to be, on anything and everything – I didn’t ask for permission. It’s part of the thrill. It is also my hope that the words themselves will challenge or inspire anyone who comes across them. Sometimes you just need a sign, you need advice, you need to know that someone’s looking out for you – and in my experience, many of those moments have come from stumbling across words and quotes at the exact time I needed it – in books, online, in the street, even on the end of a teabag string.. So these are my words, my compass – at this time when so much in my life is transitory, my words will be too. And I’m learning that – it’s okay. – ajd, 2/25/12

HERE’S SOME HIGHLIGHTS…

Phase III – begun again in 2015 with new words & a new look, keep an eye out for ’em! (tag #compassprojectpoetry)!!! Check the tag on INSTAGRAM :)

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THE ORIGINALS:

Phase I of the project

Phase II of the project

DON’T BE SHY!
Want some stickers for yourself or to put up around your town? Make a $5 donation via PayPal for printing/shipping & I’d be MORE than happy to send you some! Just like ’em, or saw one? Do your own art/stickers & wanna trade? Email me & let’s talk :)

THANK YOU!
The project has been featured in Flavorpill’s Flavorwire, The sisSTAR Loop, The Dark Mountain Project’s “Uncivilised Poetics” issue, HerHattan NYC, the Queens Gazette, artist Priscilla Stadler’s FAVORS project, MelimeL Digital Art Design‘s 2015 and 2017 Women Empowerment Event, the mürmur podcast, Queens Public TV/QPTV, and the Museum of Impact (mobile social justice museum), in addition to other mentions around the interwebz.

**Snapped by me around NYC…

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**Snapped by others/around the world…!!!

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QUEENS/NYC

MASSACHUSETTS (NANTASKET BEACH)

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CONNECTICUT

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ATLANTA

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BROOKLYN/NYC

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

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BALTIMORE

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MICHIGAN

MASSACHUSETTS HIGHEST PEAK (MT. GREYLOCK)

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BROOKLYN/NYC

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BALTIMORE

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PHILADELPHIA

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

CONEY ISLAND

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CANADA

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FLORIDA

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BALTIMORE

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BROOKLYN/NYC

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CANADA

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BALTIMORE

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NIAGARA FALLS

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LONDON

MASSACHUSETTS (WALDEN WOODS)

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SPECIAL DELIVERY :)

As of Summer 2015, there are also handmade/handpainted variants of the Compass Project!

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THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has written to me, took a photo, tagged a sticker/piece, and helped spread this project- taking it beyond the bounds of my NYC hometown to the rest of the globe! XO

2 thoughts on “Compass Project: Guerrilla Poetry”

  1. Audrey,
    Everyday I read your words as I walk to work on 29th street. Stay wild stay free.
    The words are now split in a new, also interesting arrangement. I must read your second book, as I have read the first. I can’t wait to come across the stickers. (*a word on 30— for me the 30s have been liberating. & guess what? there’s no cliff after 30 to fall off.)

    Ann Craven
    Former LIC teacher

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