Thursday, September 6, 2012

National Poetry Week 4

Half way there. Or second-last post. It depends on whether my original commitment included weekends. I haven't decided yet.

A poem to listen to

I couldn't make up my mind, so here are two performance poets from the US. (The second, George Watsky, is unfortunately now a not-very-good hip hop artist. He was a much better poet.)

You might need to Remove Annotations for this one:

A blog to link to

Indiefeed Performance Poetry is an invaluable podcast. Three times a week, a recording of a performance piece is posted, along with biographical information on the poet and other useful information. It is a great way to hear new voices, be exposed to different ways of writing and performing, and get inspired.

The host is Wes Mongo Jolley, but he has recently been joined by several other hosts, including Joel McKerrow from Melbourne's Centre for Poetics and Justice. Consequently, more Australian poets have been featured in recent times.

An exercise to write to

List 7- 10 each of events, locations and protagonists. Make sure you get a mix of happy and sad events, a mix of fun and boring locations, and a range of occupations/backgrounds/sexes/personalities in your protagonists. Put each event, location and protagonist on a single piece of paper and form them into three sorted piles. Then randomly select an event, location and protagonist.

For example, you might get a nun's birthday party at a rubbish tip. Or a clown's funeral in a 7 Eleven.

Write a poem about your random collection of inputs.

As a suggestion, start by writing all of your thoughts about the three elements you have gathered. Why would a clown have a funeral at a 7 Eleven? Who else is there? What does the guy behind the counter do?

Then, to take it one step further, how can the apparent ridiculous of this situation relate to your life or to anyone else's. Can you reflect that in the poem?

This exercise can be rewarding when done with someone else or in a group. That way, you are more likely to be surprised by the combinations you pick from the piles.

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