Poetry and Community

Writing is a solitary occupation, except when it isn’t. Some types of writing lend itself to collaborative efforts, but poetry is not generally in that category, except when it is. On Saturday, Living Poetry of Raleigh held a Poetry Germination workshop. What is that? It’s when poets get together with a beverage of choice and a notebook and write to multiple prompts. Writing time is five minutes per prompt. When the bell rings, a few poets read their creations and then we go again.

What?! I can’t write a poem in five minutes. And I certainly wouldn’t read it to anyone!

Yes, you can because the goal is not perfection, or even completion. Poets who volunteer to read often end with, “That’s as far as I got.” The goal is words on a page. If you’re lucky you get a few good lines down that can be revised and/or expanded at a later time. Sitting with other like-minded poets is energizing and conducive to creativity.

This was supposed to be our triumphant return to real-life, where we would meet in the outdoor seating area of a cafe (stupid delta). However, the weather forecast forced us to go to zoom. It was a good thing too as the city was hit with an impressive thunderstorm during our meet-up.

I haven’t done much writing in weeks. It felt good to be creative again. Here’s one of the poems I wrote. The prompt was three random words chosen from the thesaurus by a roll of the dice shown above. The words are: animal, limit, chief.

I learned to draw on my big chief pad.
Limited only by imagination
I never moved past stick figures
and lumpy misshapen dogs.
Then I learned to write poetry.
Now people expose their beating hearts
on the page and animals
leap, pounce, growl,
stalk, screech and slither
alongside them.

We had several random prompts, an ekphrastic prompt and a few prompts that were actually themed submission calls found online. Disclaimer: I have no connection to these journals in any way and do not profit in any way by referring you to them. Now read through these prompts, then,

Kick Your Muse in the Butt and Start Writing!

Brink: https://www.brinkliterary.com/submit: They are looking for “work that focuses on the edge, the brink, of currency. What surrounds currency? What are the images, sounds, ideas, people, movements, and opportunities?” This is a print journal and a paying market. Submission close on August 31, and the guidelines ask for 3 to 5 poems.

3 Elements Review http://3elementsreview.com/: Issues come out 4 times a year and each one has a theme of 3 elements that must be included in the poem or story. There are new elements every quarter. Currently they are looking for these three elements are: pocket, hinge, abandon. Submissions close August 31, 2021, for the fall issue, no. 33.

Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics: https://guernicamagazine.submittable.com/submit: They are looking for work for a special themed issue: Dirt. This is a paying market and submission are open through September first. I encourage you to read the complete guidelines. It’s a great introduction to the magazine. and description of their aesthetic..

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