Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Poem a Day?

Last April, I participated in Poetic Asides' Poem a Day challenge. Moderator Robert Lee Brewer posted a prompt every day in April, along with a poem he had written himself especially for the prompt. The goal was to write a first draft of a poem each day. We could take May to revise if we wished.

In a short time, a little community developed. We had no time for writer's block because we had another prompt tomorrow. In addition to posting our poems, we responded to those that touched us or tickled us. When the month ended, we wanted to continue. Robert graciously agreed to post a prompt every Wednesday throughout the year. In November, when the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was underway, he issued a "Chapbook Challenge": again he posted daily prompts, but when we completed the month, we had time to select from the poems we had written those that would work together, ideally with a single theme, in a chapbook. He and his new bride Tammy (also a poet) served as judges.

Over the past year, those of us who have continued to write regularly have come to know a little bit about one another--as least as much as our poetry and our comments make transparent.

Now that a new PAD challenge has begun, we have been stunned by the response. The last time I checked over 900 postings appeared under yesterday's first prompt of the month. Since Robert grew ambitious and planned an e-book of the poems judged (by professional poets) the best, he now has a huge job ahead. For the participants, trying to read all the work by our fellow poets is also challenging, but sifting for the nuggets of gold should provide a month of poetry pleasure.

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