We all know Mike Tyson can sing a mean cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," but did you know that he also writes poetry? No kidding. Some of Tyson's poetry will appear in the April issue of Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine, and he is apparently quite serious about it. He'll be sharing a poem that has "deep personal meaning."
And he isn't the only one. Tyson, Demi Moore and other athletes, actors, musicians and writers (including some famous poets) have committed to share their poetry in a forthcoming poetry-themed issue in honor of National Poetry Month. It's a wonderful, high-profile opportunity for an art form that's rarely in the spotlight, and -- I have to admit -- It's got me a little excited.
But not everyone is keen on the magazine's decision. The website Gawker, for one, is questioning it: "If magazines are trying to attract younger readers, is poetry really the way to do it?" I think they'll be surprised. While young people aren't running off to buy the latest Paul Muldoon book, I find that they're almost universally intrigued by poetry. Besides, everything Oprah touches turns to gold. Or cries. Or jumps on a couch.
How did this all come about? Maria Shriver, a friend of Oprah's for more than 30 years, is serving as the magazine's first ever guest editor, and she is apparently a bit of a poetry buff. You can watch her video introduction to the project here. In a separate statement, she had this to say about the art:
Poetry can help us through hard times and bring us closer to our joy. Poetry can be prayerful and somber or irreverent and playful, but what runs through all poetry is the search for meaning and understanding that connects us together. While a poem may bring us deep personal meaning, it becomes more meaningful when we share it with others. That is why we're asking readers to submit their own cherished poems.
Wait, what? We can submit poems? I'm in. I mean, it's safe to say that this will be my only chance to have my work appear alongside Mike Tyson's. And if he ever asks me what I think of his poetry, I will tell him that it's brilliant (don't hit me), just brilliant.
You can submit your poetry to O Magazine online here before February 11. The issue hits newsstands on March 15.