Happy Tuesday, Patchwork Poets!
We had our first meeting on Sunday and I must say… it was fantastic. We all brought our anxieties about writing and sharing poetry in this format (different anxieties for each of us), and together we co-created a gracious, welcoming, anxious and courageous space to begin this new work together. I can’t wait to see where we take it.
A brief recap of the basic format of the workshops:
– We all have a unique, creative voice and each voice is equally valued regardless of experience, confidence, educational level, background, linguistic skill, etc.
– We write together in the group, and are welcome, but not required or expected, to share our writing.
– All writing is treated as fiction unless specifically identified as autobiographical.
– Trigger warnings for non-consent, violence, or oppressive content are encouraged, and participants are welcome to excuse themselves for those readings if they need to.
– No suggestion, question, or critique is to be directed at just-written work.
– We will have one short prompt, one mid-length prompt, and one long prompt per session (5, 10, and 20 minutes).
– Information about the technical aspects of poetry (meter, rhyme, etc.) will be sent in emails, but we will not have highly technical ‘lessons’ in the workshops, so that those who want to engage in the technical nitty gritty of poetry can, and those who just want to write can do that.
We will *not* have a session on August 24 (I will be in Edmonton for SMUTfest, reading my erotica and facilitating a Smutty Story Circle – you are welcome to attend!), or on August 31 (I will be with Possibilities in the Pride Parade).
I will be sending out a recap, much like this one, after every session, and will be sending additional prompts and things to read throughout the week.
The first prompt we wrote on was from Agodon & Silano’s “The Daily Poet,” and was their August 3 prompt: In The Surreal World.
“Close your eyes and imagine yourself holding five things in your hand: a person, a building, a weapon, and two other items of your choosing. Write a poem that incorporates all give items. For extra credit, use one item three times throughout the poem.”
Our second prompt came from Diane Lockward’s book “The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop” and included a poem and a prompt:
Because I Never Learned the Names of Flowers
It is moonlight and white where
I slink away from my cat-quiet blue rubber truck
and motion myself to back it up to your ear.
I peel back the doors of the van and begin
to hushload into your sleep
the whole damn botanical cargo of Spring.
Sleeper, I whisk you
Trivia and Illium, Sweet Peristalsis, Flowering Delerium.
Springs of Purple Persiflage and Lovers' Leap, slips
of Hysteria stick in my hair. I gather clumps of Timex,
handfuls of Buttertongues, Belly buttons and Bluelets.
I come with Trailing Nebula, I come with Late-Blooming
Paradox, with Creeping Pyromania, Pink Apoplex,
and Climbing Solar Plexus.
Juice Cup, Godstem, Nexus, Sex-us, Condominium.
- Rod Jellema
“I admire the wordplay in this poem, the sexiness of it. The language is romantic, fanciful, musical. … Real names, made-up ones, or silly ones, they are fun to say, to roll around in the mouth.
Choose a category, perhaps fruits, vegetables, bird, or fish. Or choose something within the category, e.g., apples, beans, or lettuces – something that has variety. Then create a bank of words with great sounds, some rhyming words, some near rhyming words. Let some of those words be nouns, some verbs, a few adjectives. Make up some of the words. Make your word choices delicious.
Imagine an auditor.
Then begin with Because I never learned the names of _________.
Drawing from your word hoard, write a poem delivered very privately to your auditor.”
This second prompt generated some really gorgeous poetry, and the idea of a word bank to begin with was helpful for a lot of us.
We didn’t write on a third prompt because we ran out of time – instead, we each chose our birthdays from The Daily Poet and took those home to work on.
And now, since it is Tuesday and since Tuesday is so full of contradictory meanings and potentials – unlucky in the ancient Greek world, since it is the day of the week that Constantinople fell, and lucky in the Jewish world, for other reasons, (thank you, Wikipedia), and belonging to war-like Mars with all the positives and negatives that conflict can bring… since it is Tuesday, my poets, write a poem about luck and unluck, conflict and combat and aggression and assertiveness – either the good or the bad or the both.
If having a time limit helps you, then set your timer for 15 for this one. Start with a word bank, if that helps. If you prefer to write until the poem is done, then write as long as you need or want.
I will see you Sunday, and I can’t wait to write more poetry together!