Project Verse ~ Week 8: Villanelle


Form and repetition continue.

This week you are writing a villanelle. You have six stanzas and nineteen lines to impress us.

You may write on any topic that you desire, but you must do the following:
(1) Make a political reference in your poem. You can drop the name of an event or person–doesn’t matter, just make the reference.
(2) Slant rhyme won’t cut it for this assignment.

By the way, you may alter NO MORE than three words in lines one and three when you repeat them.

If you need a guiding light, take a look at “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. Contestants, don’t lose us, or you’ll be OUT.

Good luck!

Get to writing.

Project Verse ~ Week 7: Pantoum


This week you must a write a pantoum.

You may write on any topic that you desire, but you must do the following:
(1) Have a minimum of 6 stanzas, but 8 is the maximum.
(2) Work in the name of one movie into a line that will be repeated.
(3) Work in the name of one book into a line that will be repeated.

By the way, you may NOT alter the second and fourth lines of your stanzas
when you transition them to first and third lines.

Good luck poets.

Get to writing

Project Verse ~ Week 6: Epigraph


According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Only poetry inspires poetry.” Take these words to heart because they are the guidelines for your next assignment. You must pick a poem from the options below to serve as your inspiration:
“With Mercy for the Greedy” by Anne Sexton
“A Display of Mackerel” by Mark Doty
“How I Discovered Poetry” by Marilyn Nelson
“Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye

From the selected poem, you must select 2 to 3 lines to use as an epigraph in your poem. Keep Emerson’s words close because we must see how this epigraph inspired your poem.

Denise Duhamel’s “Buying Stock” is the only help I’m offering.

The poem must be written in 75 lines or less. No form constraints. Like Emerson’s words, your poem better be a jewel.

Poets– Your Friday deadline has been moved from 10am to 1pm. Don’t be late.

Get to writing!

Week 5: The Between


I am borrowing a workshop prompt from Dara Wier.

Dara once pointed out that in Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish,” the first and last lines create a sentence:
“I caught a tremendous fish / And I let it go.”

Project Verse Competitors: You must select a setence, and you’re going to split that sentence. Part of the sentence will have to be the first line of your poem and the other part will be the last line of your poem. By the way, you don’t get to create your own sentence. Come on, that would be too easy!

Your options come from Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace:

Option 1:
Thus the private asylum is far beyond his reach at the present.

Option 2:
As soon as he saw her, he knew that this wouldn’t happen.

Option 3:
He approached her with a calm and smiling face, presenting an image of goodwill.

Option 4:
A piece of toast cracks like slate between his teeth.

Option 5:
He already has a name, she sighs reproachfully.

Select your sentence, and write your poem in 40 lines or less.
There are no form constraints.
One person will end up like Bishop’s fish.

Get to writing!

Project Verse ~ Week 4: Shore Tags


Did you know that, worldwide, hermit crabs are experiencing a housing shortage? About 30 percent of all hermit crabs live in shells that are too small for them, and up to 60 percent can’t find homes that are the correct size in the spring when they experience their growth spurts.

Dana Guthrie Martin, one of our weekly judges, created a project called Shore Tags that addresses this problem. Click here for all the juicy details as to what Shore Tags is looking for in a poem.
Give us what Shore Tags is looking for in 40 lines or less.

No form constraints.

Work hard because the winner of this week’s assignment will be published in the Shore Tags project.

Since the judging period falls on the weekend of a holiday, the results won’t be posted until Sunday, July 12.
Week 4 poems are still due by 10am on 7/3.

Competitors, check back to I Was Born Doing Reference Work in Sin on Monday, July 6.
You have a curve ball coming your way.

Project Verse ~ Week 3: Simile Vs. Metaphor

Week 3: Simile Vs. Metaphors

All similes are metaphors, but not all metaphors are similes. I’m sure you already know this creative writing quip. If you didn’t, well, keep it to yourself. Similes tend to be easier to create than metaphors.
This week we want a poem with solid metaphors, and we are going to pass on the similes.
We want at least two metaphors in a poem of 60 lines or less.

No form constraints.

Get to writing!

Project Verse ~ Week 1: Workshop 1101

Workshop 1101:
Remember your first paper in English 1101?
Your professor wanted a simple narrative to get a gist of your writing style and to show you how he/she grades.
This assignment is along the same lines, except you’re writing a poem instead of a paper.
Write a poem on any topic in under 40 lines using the following words:
zany, velvet, debonair, limp, & exculpate.

No form constraints.

But, unlike English 1101, one of you won’t be moving to the next assignment.