Magnetic Poetry Meet & Greet

The event was born like many of others, from a comment by one of the participants in The Lexington Tattoo Project. She approached us at the January Tadoo Lounge gathering at Smiley Pete’s and, after proudly displaying the “door” tattooed on her right wrist, said that although “door” doesn’t go with one of the 28 “of the Universe” in Bianca Spriggs’ poem, she wanted to match it up with that phrase anyway. Or with a number of others. “You should have an event where people can make their own poetry by matching up their tattoos, sort of like magnetic fridge poetry but without a fridge,” she suggested.

Of course, we loved the idea of hosting a gathering after all the tattoos were done, the kind of gathering where people would have a built-in reason to approach anyone else there: to ask to see their tattoo (even if no tattoo was visible), to offer their own for public viewing, to suggest a creative photoshoot to a stranger. This would also be a good opportunity to share some statistics (how can one not be impressed by the fact that 31 couples got tattoos together, in one case on their wedding anniversary!), as well as to give away prizes. You can see the categories we crafted below. And, in case you are wondering, this is the shortest description we were able to come up with for this event: a Magnetic Poetry Meet & Greet: a lot like Twister inside a photo booth.


  • Number of words in the poem: 496 (including the full title)
  • Number of tattoo phrases: 221
  • Number of participants: 247
  • Number of first-time tattoos: approximately 64
  • Heterosexual and same-sex pairs, both dating and married, known to us: 31
  • Number of families with at least three people involved: 3
  • Greatest number of people involved within a single nuclear family: 5
  • Number of mother-daughter teams: 5
  • Number of mother-son teams: 5
  • Number of grandmother-grandson teams: 1
  • Number of 2 siblings within the same family: 4
  • Number of sets of twins: 1
  • The highest density of LTP participants within a single business: 2 businesses with 4 out of 5 employees who got tattoos (The Hive, The Morris Book Shop)
  • The most people from a single organization (or, as they describe themselves, moving music and dance sensation) to get a tattoo: MANY—The March Madness Marching Band
  • Oldest participant: 65 years old (first tattoo)
  • Youngest participants: 17 years old
  • Youngest tattoo artist: 5 years old
  • Most circles and dots in a single tattoo: “The Lexington Tattoo Project” (we did not even count the dots) — Kenny Delver