Now that the Pulitzer Remix project is over, our fearless leader Jenni B. Baker is assembling a manuscript to pitch to publishers. Due to the sheer number of poems, we are all choosing what we think are the best of the work we produced, to help her sort out some early candidates. After some personal/family factors, I do not have the entire 31 poems I hoped to have, but I do have a good amount of poems to choose from–if I could make a decision.
That’s where you come in.
Please go see all the poems I wrote during the project (click on each book cover to reveal the poems), and let me know here in the comments which poems you like the most. The project will be hidden from public view after May 19th, while Jenni assembles the manuscript, so if you could look sometime soon, that would be great. While you’re on the website, feel free to look around; there’s an incredible amount of interesting work posted, and I’ve read some amazing stuff from my fellow remix poets.
Thanks for your help!
Elbow Room (short story collection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For National Poetry Month 2013, I’m tackling the biggest challenge I’ve set for myself as a poet; I’m one of 85 participating poets in the Pulitzer Remix project, sponsored by The Found Poetry Review. Each of us chose a novel or collection of stories that has won the Pulitzer, and are “remixing” it by creating found poems from the text, one poem for each day of April. You can find out more about the project or the poets, and read the poems here. I first posted about this project, after Anjali tagged me in a meme, and now it’s finally launched.
My text is Elbow Room, a collection of stories that won the Prize in 1978, which also happens to be the year I was born. You can view all the poems I’ve written so far here; just click on each image of the book cover to see the individual poems. I admit that at first I was a little dismayed that I hadn’t been quick enough to nab one of my favorite books, but I think this has made it more challenging, and I’m looking forward to remixing more novels in the future.
For my poems, I’m using several different techniques. Some poems I created from choosing random words from the list of story titles, while others I chose from stories themselves. I’m creating one poem each that will stick to one particular story and be titled the same, but will deviate from the content of the story itself, if that makes sense. I also got inspired early on by these two characters I’ve dreamed up, and have been writing a series of love songs about their relationship, with words from the entire book.
I’m so proud to be part of this project, as the work I’ve seen from other poets has been amazing, and it’s been both inspiring and challenging for me as well. I feel reinvigorated in my life in general these days, and as a writer, I feel like I’ve opened an exciting chapter. Come check it out!
My friend Anjali recently posted about her Next Big Thing, a meme asking writer about their next big project. She tagged me, and although I haven’t done a blog meme in a long time, Anjali’s suspicion was correct because I do have a poetry project up my sleeve!
This April, during National Poetry Month, I’ll be one of 84 poets participating in the Pulitzer Remix: “a 2013 National Poetry Month initiative that will engage 84 poets in creating found poetry from the 84 works that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction,” sponsored by The Found Poetry Review. I’ll be using Elbow Room as my source literature, a collection of short stories that won the Pulitzer in 1978, which also happens to be the year I was born. The author, James Alan McPherson, is on the permanent faculty of the Iowa Writers Workshop and was the first African-American writer to win the Pulitzer for fiction. As a reader, one of the greatest joys you can discover is stumbling on the works of a wonderful author you might not have otherwise discovered, and that’s how I have felt as I dive into the stories in Elbow Room.
The prospect of writing 30 found poems, all to be publicly posted, is a little daunting, I admit, but also invigorating, as I’ve always been challenged and inspired by previous poem-a-day challenges during the month of April. As a genre, found poetry is fascinating to me, and I’m thrilled to get to push myself with a new source of inspiration. I’ve always been a strong proponent of public poetry projects, and am really looking forward to seeing what some of my fellow poet-participants do with some of the amazing literature they’ll be using for inspiration.
On a similar note, I also re-enrolled in Modern & Contemporary American Poetry, the MOOC I enrolled in last fall, but ultimately failed to complete. Now that I have a better sense of the structure and time commitment, I’m hoping to have a more successful try at it this time around. The course doesn’t begin until September, but I’m pleased to be trying again even though I dropped out, overwhelmed and disappointed in myself. If I keep telling my kids and my students that persistence is a virtue, I need to practice it myself, right?
The new issue of the light ekphrastic is up, and happens to be the issue in which my work is featured! Come read the poem I submitted, as well as the poem I wrote, inspired by a painting, and see the painting inspired by my work!
This is a really beautiful project, and I’m thrilled with the results; definitely a great place to publish, or keep checking in on if you are intrigued by ekphrastic art (or really, if you like poetry or visual art at all!).