May 27, 2011

UCPD called in after reports of A-level poetry graffiti

University Police (UCPD) officers detained three students in the A-Level of the Regenstein Library Thursday morning after a library staff member reported that patrons were defacing a bathroom wall at 3:40 a.m.

Officers found one individual writing on the wall and detained two others based on information provided by a third party, according to UCPD spokesperson Robert Mason. The students were not charged with any crime; the officers turned them over to the Dean-on-Call, per University protocol.

The graffiti was a transcription of Ezra Pound’s “Canto 83.” The graffiti appeared in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. According to third-year Johannah King-Slutzky, a student involved in the graffiti, they graffitied the wall so that others would contribute marginalia (commentary written in the margins of a book), an idea conceived by King-Slutzky and four other students in an Advanced Poetry Workshop. They were responding to a class prompt asking for an experimental piece in the style of Pound’s criticism.

The other students involved were Zak Federer, Kirsten Ihns, Brendan White, Krystin Gollihue. King-Slutzky, Federer, and a student unrelated to this group were detained by UCPD.