Category: writing

Poetry and Google iPhone App

I have been having great fun with my iPhone apps since their official launch in the summer. My favorite app has become the free and updated Google app with voice searching. Two surprising uses: to spell words that I hear on my audiobooks and to write lines of poetry as I drive (or at least noting the key words).

The other day, I wasn’t sure how to spell “espadrilles” but Google did. (It was important because I’m now listening to Confessions of a Shopaholic on tape). And I was able to start a new poem on my way home by capturing the key words of lines I wanted to remember.  It was great.

Poetry prompts for the ages

After next month, the poetry group I’ve been a part of for the past three years will be disbanding. I am sad about it. It has been great to have the support of other writers and the monthly deadline. Because of this group, I actually have a stockpile of coherent poetry. Thanks Kristi, Joan and Cam for your insights and dedication to the well-written word.

Here is a partial list of our prompts we used for our meetings. I know I’m missing a bunch, but I take it as a good sign I can’t remember the prompt when reading through the poems.

Partial list of poetry group assignments:

  • A pop culture poem
  • Using a word you hate in the text of the poem
  • Each line has to start with the a letter of your name in order
  • A set of 5 haikus or tankas
  • A sonnet
  • A political poem
  • Travel poem
  • Point of view from a country other than the United States
  • A poetic response to another author’s poem presented in workshop
  • A group poem written with each stanza written by one poet (this took a few months)
  • An historical event
  • Starting with a line taken from another poet
  • Love poems
  • The point of view of an animal
  • A ballad (personally so hard for me I never completed one)
  • Sestina
  • Inspired by other work of art (a song, a painting, a play)
  • Inspired by an object found in your house. Show & tell included, if possible.
  • Revision of a poem not yet presented to the group (with a copy of the original poem to share)
  • Comedic poem
  • Based on a photograph taken at a place recently visited (Season 2 Project Runway style)
  • A packet of 5 poems revised for publication

Poetry with Motown style

I’m very happy to have submitted a freelance nonfiction article today. Yay! Now I can concentrate on poetry submissions. I have already befouled my newest edition of Poet’s Market with lots of post-it flags.

At my writing group last week, three of us talked about how we tend to write new pieces instead of editing older ones, since it is hard to reconnect to the feeling of a particular poem. Sometimes, my poems are like bad relationships: either getting back together is doomed for failure or there is potential but I’m just avoiding the work.

Now, I got Smokey Robinson singing in my head…”My mama told me/You better shop around.” Good advice for lovers or poets.

Poetry revisions

I have been working on my poetry revisions. I’m trying to get more submissions out there. I was appreciative of Robert Lee Brewer’s post on how to write cover letters for journals. It’s good to be reminded to just keep it simple. I have been focusing on poetry contests this winter. I placed in two: The Poetry Society of Virginia and Inktank/Citybeat contest. PSV judge provided some great comments. But always more to revise…

A few months’ ago, I indexed all my poetry notebooks from the past five years but haven’t gone back to mine for gems yet.