shadow in a bottle

emu Jens Kohler Luciano Iacobelli poetry Robert Marra video

But let us start.

Shall we rent the ferret-team sled?

Or the marmoset rickshaw?

Or shall we fly on afterthoughts?

from “Orangetude! Chocoletude!” an Emu Dialogue by Jens Köhler & Luciano Iacobelli

"Back-scratch my inner jackass"

Emu poetry: is it a thing?


It is a dialect of convivial co-creation. It is playful form of “linguistic desperation” for homo ludens practiced by a (very) small group of artists (mostly in Toronto).

Here's an introduction.

Filmmaker Neal Colgrass made a short film about the launch of The Emu Dialogues, by Luciano Iacobelli, Jens Köhler, and Robert Marra.


A Night of Emu from Neal Colgrass on Vimeo.

Luciano Iacobelli, Robert Marra and Jens Kohler write a playful form of poetry known simply as emu. They launched their latest collection, "The Emu Dialogues," in Toronto on Oct. 5, 2015, and sat down to explain what emu is all about. "But you know what's the interesting thing about emu?" says Iacobelli. "The minute you know something about it is also the minute you forget it."

In 2015, the co-authors of The Emu Dialogues were guests on HOWL on CIUT 89.5 FM (Toronto). Host Valentino Assenza, a generous poet with a theater background and the show’s co-producer, called the book “an adventure” for which you need to “strap yourself in.” The trio were their playful selves – play and fellowship being at the heart of emu poetry. They read three selections from the book.

Here's the audio.

(Incidentally, this is not the first time emu has happened on CIUT. In the late 80s / early 90s, Matthew Remski (also an emu-er) hosted a poetry show called “Invoking the Muse.” He invited, Luciano Iacobelli, Jens Köhler, Greg Salman, and possibly Frank Willis to improvise some emu live on air.)

Finally, filmmakers Dillon McManamy, Jacob Kraemer, Patrick Cedarberg and Jonathan Dannel made this short film based on another book of emu poetry, But Sir!, by Iacobelli and Köhler.


Still here?

Made it this far?

Then purchase some emu!


featured image attribution: Joe Haupt from USA / CC BY-SA

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