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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Photo source: Found Poetry Project

Celebrate National Poetry Month this April by creating your own “found poem” and submitting it online. (Anonymously, if you wish.) Head on over to the Found Poetry Project, the brainchild of Jenni B. Baker and Beth Ayer, graduates of UMass Dartmouth’s Professional Writing Program.

The information below is from the project’s web site and press materials.

Found poetry, defined

Found poetry is the art of excerpting words and phrases from any written source and combining them in new ways to form a poem. Sources can range from traditional texts like books, newspapers and magazines to more unexpected origins like product packaging, Twitter updates and court testimony.

The project

The project will distribute more than 500 found poetry kits in communities across the United States and four countries and curate the resulting poems online at http://www.foundpoetryproject.com.

The kits, each containing all the materials someone needs to write a found poem, will be distributed in community bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, public transportation and other public locations for people to stumble upon beginning March 28. Kit finders are encouraged to write a poem using the kit and share it on the project website.

A Kickstarter campaign run between February 3 and March 4, 2012, generated more than $1,250 for the Found Poetry Project, double the project’s original goal.

A word from Jenni B. Baker, founder & editor-in-chief at The Found Poetry Review

“While poets have been incorporating and building on one another’s work for centuries, found poetry is still an under-practiced and, in some cases under-appreciated, art form. We hope the Found Poetry Project will be a fun initiative that gets the public involved in experimenting with found poetry and showcases the contributions that can be made in the genre.”

Create your own kits!

Individuals and groups are encouraged to extend the reach of the project by creating their own kits to distribute in their communities. Guidelines for those wishing to participate in the project are available on the Found Poetry Project website.

More information

Contact Jenni B. Baker at foundpoetryreview@gmail.com.

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butterflyTwo quotes I’ve come across lately speak to the writer’s need to write: as a way to hold fast to fleeting experiences and to make sense of the world.

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?
Vita Sackville-West

I would feel dead if I didn’t have the ability periodically to put my world in order with a poem. I think to be inarticulate is a great suffering, and is especially so to anyone who has a certain knack for poetry.
Richard Wilbur

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In pursuit

Interior, Grace Cathedral, San FranciscoYesterday the Writer’s Almanac featured Pursuit, a poem by Stephen Dobyns that begins:

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass—
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a gothic cathedral.

Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited.

I initially recognized the poem as an anthem for our plugged-in age—when our fingers and our brains pursue the next click even as we’re only beginning to absorb what’s currently before us (never mind actually grapple with that one thing, or complete it). But Dobyns, who published “Pursuit” in 1987, isn’t laying blame for his concurrent agitation, distraction, guilt, and regret on an external force such as the Internet. It’s all his: “the confusion of childhood/loping behind me, the chaos in the mind/the failure chipping away at each success.”

How remote 1987 seems from 2012. No distractions of email or Facebook or YouTube. But Dobyns was having a hard time staying focused even then. He recognizes his struggle for what it is: a race against time, a fear of slowing down, a need to keep the past at bay by rushing headlong into the future. Behind it all, the ultimate pursuer, Death. Yet, Dobyns hangs on to his greater purpose, the “cathedral” he’s toiling to build, that which will remain—even if only half-built—when the stock car races are forgotten.

With today’s multiplicity of diversions, do I let myself off too easily, blaming my own lack of achievement on external forces when I should be looking within? Does my frittering away in the here and now provide such an illusion of busy-ness that I can hide from my own cathedral-building work? Do I even know what my larger purpose is anymore, or am I content with stock car races?

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