Writing prose is so much harder than writing poetry, especially memoir (though I’m a little stuck on the poetry front too, if I’m being honest). I’ve been working on my piece tentatively called “For You My Best Friend,” staring at the same words over and over again for a couple weeks, trying to add things and actually make this into a full-length book. How’s it going? Horribly. Memoir hurts. And my brain is fuzzy.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough space from the subject. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to expose myself. Maybe I’m scared. Maybe that’s okay.
Sidenote: Are there such things as prose chapbooks?
I know you haven’t heard from me since the 30/30 I did in April (which clearly took more energy than I thought) and my acceptance into graduate school, but there is really nothing much to report. I have unfortunately decided to not take my place at UB, or at least not until I can afford it. It’s a great school, with a great program, but I can’t do that to myself right now.
The other things I highlighted on in April, including crossing a few t’s and dotting a few i’s? Well you’ll still have to wait on that too because I still haven’t crossed my t’s or dotted my i’s. Save a few dollars for me though around the fall 😉
I’m trying to write, but I just can’t for some reason. I try, but nothing comes… Or nothing good comes. I think it’s because a piece I wrote in January or so still isn’t getting picked up and I feel like everything else I write is worthless, even though it isn’t. I hope this lull of not writing and not sending out work for publication and not getting published ends soon. I can’t very well teach little people how to write unless I do it myself, right?
Told you guys I would update you on the 30/30 poem a day challenge I did for National Poetry Month, so here goes:
Okay, so I didn’t make it (sad face), but I came close! I wrote 28 out of 30, which is better than the last time I decided to write 30 poems in 30 days (last summer). That time I got around 25 or 26, so any progress is good progress! Next time, I’m gonna rock it out of the park! I’m thinking about posting a couple of pieces not sure yet.
Also, I have a week to decide if UB is the place for my MFA. I’ve gotten accepted, the program director seems to love me, it’s in town, and I already know a couple students. Decisions, decisions….
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