Poet Randall Jarrell—a notable figure among the “World War II poets”—finished his distinguished life here in Greensboro. He’s buried in the cemetery of the New Garden Friends Meeting in Guilford College.
When the Greensboro Public Library commissioned King’s English for a logo to brand its new city poetry project, we started a creative process that eventually landed on an idea to give the identity a sense of place. So we called in a favor from the late professor from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro).
With the generous permission from Jarrell’s widow, we obtained one Jarrell’s better known book jacket photos in which he’s seated in a snazzy mid-twentieth-century sports car wearing a homburg. Then our artists did some adjusting to create a little visual poetry through contrast and posterization.
There was also a copywriting task. Today’s poetry comes in a lot of styles unheard of in Jarrell’s day. So rather than spell it all out as The Greensboro Poetry Project or something like that, we flipped it around so “poetry” is front and center and the location is the same thing you see on your suitcase when you grab it from the airport baggage claim: GSO.
Now go read some Randall Jarrell.