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Monthly Archives: April 2011

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #20

Today, write an objectpoem: choose an object for close observation and describe it evocatively, then relate it to some more general comment about the world, about life, or about human nature. Some excellent examples of object poems are: “About Foam” by Caroline Bergvall; “White Box (notes)” by Laura Mullen; “Elementary Odes” by Pablo Neruda; “Orchids” […]

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #19

The “I Remember” poem… free write for at least ten minutes, not stopping to think, starting with “I remember” every time you run out of juice. If I remember correctly, I originally read this prompt in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and she suggested simply writing “I remember I remember I remember I remember I […]

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #18

You’ve made it more than halfway through the month; you may be tired, you may be exhilarated. Today try something fairly mechanical to take the pressure off: write down the first five nouns you hear after reading this prompt. Let your mind wander. Build a narrative involving your five words (or three or four of […]

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #17

It’s Sunday! Time for arts and crafts. Try writing a cut-up poem, where you cut up a printed text and rearrange the bits to create a new text. William Burroughs popularized this technique; listen to his early cut-up “K-9 Was in Combat with the Alien Mind-Screens” or read “CANCER MEN. . . THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE […]

so try as you will/you cannot make me feel/embarrassment//at what I find beautiful – Frank Bidart

I went to see Ciarán Carson with Peg and Declan last week, and Frank Bidart with them this week, both as part of the Vanderbilt Visiting Writers series.  Ciarán Carson is a poet from Belfast who I think is chiefly famous for writing about the troubles there, but my favourite poetry of his is the […]

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #16

Watch the Suitable Poetry Sketch from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, then write your own very short poem (and consider submitting it to Seven by Twenty, which reopens to submissions today).

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #15

My friend Anne suggested this prompt: write an ode to one of your least favorite things. For inspiration, try reading some of Pablo Neruda’s odes.

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #14

Read excerpts from Joe Brainard’s “I Remember” and then write a poem heavily using anaphora.

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #13

Read “I am THE SEX GODDESS OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE” (or listen to it) by Maggie Estep and “Almost There” by Timothy Liu and “First Turn to Me…” by Bernadette Mayer, and listen to “homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton. Now write a confident, sexy poem.

NaPoWriMo poem & prompt #12

God is indeed a jealous God— He cannot bear to see That we had rather not with Him But with each other play. — Emily Dickinson Read Milton Acorn’s “WHAT I KNOW OF GOD IS THIS” and Henry Van Dyke’s “God of the Open Air” and Carl Sandburg’s “Manufactured Gods” and Katherine Mansfield’s “To God […]