I’ve been attempting (poorly, might I add) to write 30 poems in 30 days. I am currently at 19 out of 30, which isn’t necessarily all that bad, but today is the 23rd. I’m 4 poems behind, and I am losing my mind. I’m going to have to play catch up for sure.
But, never fear, there is good news!
I’ve been submitting and applying and doing a whole lot of waiting. I’ve gotten a couple rejection letters, but who doesn’t? I’ve also been admitted to an MFA program. I’m not sure if I want to start this fall or wait until next fall while I check out other options.
There’s even more good news, but I don’t want to jinx it, so you’ll have to keep waiting until I’m ready to share. Let’s just say it involves crossing a few more t’s and dotting more i’s… 🙂
So, April is National Poetry month, and I am determined to write 30 poems in 30 days. Have I lost my mind? Probably, but nothing beats a try but a fail. It is Tuesday, April 11th, and I have only 8 poems I believe, so I’m already behind. Any advice, cheerleading, and/or favorite prompts in the comments below would be helpful. I am also going to include a list of my favorite prompts below, some of which I have used this year, some in previous years.
I will start to share a couple if I like them, but more often if I don’t like them.
Prompts I like/have done/plan to do:
- Start each statement with “I will” or “I want”
- Blackout poetry from old textbooks or papers
- Re-write a poem written when you first started writing.
- List poems. (I LOVE list poems even though I’m not necessarily successful at them)
- Portrait poems
- Let your pain write back to you
- Write about waiting
- Begin with “This is not the last poem I will write…”
- Write a love poem to someone without using any of these words: love, like, heart, passion, fire, desire, forever, roses, kiss, dream, moment, together, soul or baby.
- Write a poem that admits a dark secret of yours.
- Find one of your favorite recipes. Write a poem that utilizes some of the steps of that recipe.
- What did you say?
- Go to a place that means a lot to you & write about it
- If It Were To Be The Last Time or The Last Time
- The places you have left yourself
- Noisy beds
- Stories about scars or bruises
- “I have done this before and more.”
If I can think of more, I’ll add them, but if you think of any you’d like to see, leave a comment below!
I’ve gotten bitten by the grad school bug, and I think I’m ready to finally apply. It’s been over two years since I’ve been in school, so this whole process feels so weird. I have to find my “best work” whatever that means, and I have to choose between poetry and nonfiction. University of Baltimore said that if I sent both genres they’d choose for me and that I’d be able to change it later if I was completely unhappy, but still, how am I to choose between two things that I love for different reasons?
Poetry – at least my poetry – is short, sweet, and to the point, with some out there statements and colloquial language. I let myself live in other worlds, or I enhance my own world with flowery language.
My nonfiction stuff hurts. It hurts to write, and it hurts to read (or at least, that’s what I’ve been told). It’s raw – almost too raw – like I want everybody to know everything about me and why I write and what I need to get off my chest. I write my hurt. I write my happy. I write my in-betweens.
Writing is very cathartic to me, and I guess I do write for that reason, but maybe I’m just scared to put it out there. Maybe I’m not ready to be that out there. Maybe it’s not my time. Maybe I don’t have much to say at all and only think I do.
I’m also thinking about applying to Hollins for that MFA program, but I am not completely sure about that. UB seems right. I met with the director of the program, and she seems absolutely lovely. Other contenders are Spalding, Hopkins, and VCFA – none of which I have visited – yet (Hopkins I am visiting in April).
Any suggestions or particularly good programs you’d like to bag about? Drop them in the comments section 🙂
New publication up at For the Sonorous
Link just to my poem titled “growing up black girl” is here
I am so proud of this piece. Please check it out & let me know what you think in the comments below!
– A. Elizabeth
So I’m working on For You, My Best Friend, and I am realizing that half of it, I have written in the first and second person and half of it I have written in first and third person. The struggle. Both sound authentic to the work, but the second person definitely sounds more accusatory even though the person I am writing this for/about will probably never read it. I basically admit he ruined my life (oops?) and I don’t want readers to think I’m talking to them, even thought that might be an interesting trip for them to go on. I think they give off two completely different vibes, and I am not sure which one I am going for.
I am questioning so much, and I am finally writing more. I might wait until I am “finished” to make it third person or second person. I am not sure.We’ll see. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to leave them below. Much appreciated.
I get them. I get a lot of them. And each rejection is starting to hurt just a little less, but I must say, each one also gives me something to strive for. Now I’m not the absolute best by any means. I am not perfect. And generally, my writing is very touchy-feely, very passionate, very pro-black; not many people are into that. Does that make me a bad writer? No. It just means that my work is not for everyone, and that’s completely fine.
I don’t write anything I don’t experience (for the most part). I don’t write about nature. I don’t write about the stars. I don’t write about traveling… or at least not that much.
I write about the hurt. I write about pain. I write about my blackness. I write about my womanhood. I write about my queerness. I write about Baltimore, a city I have a love/hate relationship with. I write about men. I write about women. I write about liminal spaces. I write about magic. I write the depression. I write the sex. I write the ugly.
I just think of rejections as people saying it’s not my time to shine yet. One day, it will be.
Like I said in my previous post, the first draft of my nonfiction project (there’s a poetry one coming too!) was written entirely in rants, letters, and poems. Here is a combination of all three from the first draft, something like a prose poem. Feel free to comment and/or make suggestions. I originally wrote this a few years ago and have not come back to it until now.
My best friend wanted a picture of me. I sent him one after a long spiel of why I did not want to send him one. There should not have been a negotiation, but he knows his power and he owns it and he uses it accordingly.
I wonder why me saying “no” does not stick. I wonder if he really loves me or just likes what I give, which confuses me because it isn’t much.
But he tells me I am beautiful, so I forgive him and forget about the weight he adds to my shoulders. Then he sends me a picture of his dick. I laugh. Not because it is funny, but because I am uncomfortable, and I do not know how to tell him “no” without 1. Feeling bad about it and 2. Him not taking me seriously.
He knows I do not want him like that. He knows I am mostly a lesbian. He confuses me. I confuse me. When I talk to him, my voice should not waver like an old record. It is clear I have let him rot in my ribs for way too long. This needs to stop. He is hurting me. I am letting him. I do not want to anymore.