Monday, May 4, 2015

Saying Goodbye to PoMoSco

It is now May 4th, which means that PoMoSco has been over for four days! I am so glad I had the chance to participate; although I didn't complete all the prompts (I managed 27 out of 30), I have come out of the month of April with 27 new poems. Many of them will be pieces I can now edit to my heart's content, and some have given me both new subject matter for future pieces and new ways of looking at certain themes/topics that I might never have come up with on my own. So, without further ado, here are my favorite poems from the last week-and-a-bit of PoMoSco.
  • How You Saved the Day: my source text for this was a collection of poems by one of my favorite writers, Julia Alvarez.
  • To the Voices: After finishing this one I realized how similar it was to my White Out poem, Wickedness. 
  • The Country by Seaside: I really loved the premise of this prompt--to travel to your local library, and on your journey note something you saw along the way. Then you had to find 5 books related to whatever that topic was, and draw your words/phrases for the poem from the first 5 pages of each of those sources. This poem was therefore inspired by seeing sheep!
  • A Small Sample is a series of haikus created from my source text. I never write haiku but after doing so for an earlier prompt, I realized how beautiful the form can be.
The PoMoSco site will remain open to access by the public until mid-May so my poems will be readable until then. I hope you've enjoyed the chance to follow along with me in my month-long poetic journey!

Monday, April 20, 2015

PoMoSco Part 3!

My favorite poems I've posted from the third week of PoMoSco. I got a bit behind in posting and completing but managed to catch up over the weekend!

  • Jude Corrupted--a remix of a passage from the Bible.
  • Double Jeopardy-- For this prompt we had to watch/listen to a video/podcast/etc. that was at least an hour long, writing down everything we heard that we could, and craft our poem from that. I love Nikki Giovanni and she'd done some great speeches so I chose one I'd never heard before, the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture at The College at Brockport. I didn't know what to expect but definitely did not expect the resulting poem to be so painfully relevant to present-day events.
  • Coming Home-- "I am marigold on the outside, morning-glory violet on the inside."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

PoMoSco Part 2!

Following on from last week's post, here are my favorite poems I've completed for PoMoSco this week!

  • To Every Woman-- let me just stroke my own ego a bit on this one and say how much I love the phrase "a quilt of turmoil and design". Also, the source text for this was something I found by mistake when doing some quilting research, and I fell in love with it!
  • Blackberry Crumbs--after spending about two hours working on this one with my source haikus, I found myself thinking in haiku!
  • Carefully at War-- I used this prompt (taking a walk and using text off signs for a poem) as an excuse to finally wander up to the dilapidated ruins of Hen Eglwys, which I've wanted to see for a while, and also explored the woodlands.
I'm really enjoying participating in the project, not only because of how much more time I've spent committed to writing than I normally would and how many great ideas for future pieces have come out of it, but also of course for the vast amount of poetry I've had the chance to read and other writers I've gotten to interact with.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


If you have spoken to me in the past few months, or if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably seen/heard me mention PoMoSco--short for Poetry Month Scout, a project I'm participating in to celebrate National Poetry Month, which is April (at least in the US). PoMoSco is a month-long poetry project being sponsored by the Found Poetry Review. Over 200 participants from around the world are participating, with the goal being to create 30 new found poems each throughout the month of April.

If you're feeling confused and wondering what found poetry is, that's okay. I discovered the concept late in my time in the University of Iowa Creative Writing program and immediately fell in love. Found poetry is a broad term that encompasses many different forms and techniques, but it's basically any form of language re-creation in which the poet takes an existing text and turns it into a new written work. My experience with found poetry, prior to this project, has been limited to erasure, which is when you literally erase or black out lines in an existing text, and what's left behind is your new poem. My favorite erasure/found poem I've ever completed was a combination of two erasures. I first "erasured" the texts from the information boards at an exhibit at the Natural History museum, then combined this with an erasure created from a National Geographic article about Christopher Columbus. What I love about erasure, and found poetry in general, is the many different ways that you can reimagine a text. Sometimes I'll choose to keep the existing theme but try to interpret it in a new way, but what I find even more fascinating is the chance to subvert the existing messages in a text and turn the whole thing on its head (as I did with my Natural History/Columbus text). I have a lot of project ideas floating in my head about ways I'd like to use erasure, so when I heard about the PoMoSco project, I jumped on the opportunity to expand my knowledge of different types of found poetry, and challenge my creativity.

I really encourage you to head over to the PoMoSco website and check out some of the poems--there are SO many talented individuals and so much great work has gone up already! I'll try and do a few posts this month with links to my favorite poems I've completed, so here are my favorites that I've done from the first week:

  • Star Stuff: This was the first badge, "Pick and Mix". This poem was created by reading through my source text and picking out words and phrases I liked and creating a new poem from that, so I could only use words already found in the source text.
  • Wickedness: Back to basics (and my comfort zone), a simple erasure using white-out.
  • You, Remembered: For this badge, "First in Line", I had to compose a poem using only the first lines of poems from an existing poet's book of poems. Punctuation and line breaks could be changed and not all the lines had to be used, but no words could be added or eliminated from the lines used.
I would love to know what you think of them!

NB: The PoMoSco website will only be open to the public April 1st, 2015-April 30th, 2015. If you are reading this post beyond this date, the links above won't work!