Round Up 1 #postitnotepoetry

What a mad ten days of writing poetry, reading poetry, watching other people embrace and take up the notion of poetry on a post-it note, then trying to work out the best way to organise what was meant to be nothing more than a dare between Adam Byatt and myself.

Mid-week we started an open Facebook Group to:

  1. aggregate the poetry being written and shared
  2. allow everyone access to the poetry
  3. give people who didn’t know each other an opportunity to interact and comment

It possibly looks a bit daunting if you go there and see “all this poetry”… but we’re all working from the very same premise: participation not prowess.

In fact I love the disclaimer on Adam’s website on the first day: Results may vary and you can probably expect dog-awful, spleen rupturing, Vogon-inspired poetry. You have been warned.

INCEPTION

I have dug out the text conversation (edited out all the boring, mundane stuff about blogs and Piper’s Reach running through it) that launched the idea of post-it note poetry:

ADAM: Have an idea for Feb or March: a post-it note story a day. Write a story on a post-it note and photo it. Instagram for writers. Just one or two sentences.

JODI: That sounds like a brilliant idea. I’m normally challenged in such a short space – but I’d be up for it. Post-it notes perfect also for haiku – I really got a kick out of Feb Haiku last year – 28 days of bad haiku.

ADAM: Feb sounds great for bad haiku/post-it note poetry

JODI: Post-it note poetry party!

ADAM: Done deal. Let’s write really bad post-it note poetry for Feb.

JODI: Sir you are a legend – I adore working with you

REFLECTION

I can thank my university literature course for spoiling poetry for me. It was presented as inaccessible, exclusive, high-elevation sacrosanct literature, metre-driven and not for my consumption as a reader or writer. As such I never attempted to read much less write poetry (yet all these years I’ve kept my Norton’s Anthology of Poetry).

I wrote 29 haikus last February but didn’t really share them. I was part of a poet’s forum but felt totally out of my depth there. This year it’s been wonderful to read and immerse in the imagery, wisdom and content of everyone’s words as part of #postitnotepoetry.

There is absolutely something to be said for permission to do something badly rather than the expectation to produce something outstanding. I’m having a ball and freeing myself from the confines of haiku has allowed me to explore so much more than I did last year.

I’m in awe of everyone who has contributed over the last ten days: the generous spirit in which everyone has participated, interacted and thrown themselves in–raw and vulnerable.

A WEEK IN REVIEW

Here are my picks from those who joined up in the first week (and it is really hard to pick just one from each–believe me there really isn’t any Vogonish about what is being penned!)

Adam Byatt: Boxes (6th February)

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Sean Wright: The Cant of Pines (7 Feb)

S.G. Larner (8 Feb)

Lisa Leo (4 Feb)

Jo McClelland (8 Feb)

Kelly Erickson (Feb 7)

Maria Kelly: Going Bukowski (Feb 9)

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7 thoughts on “Round Up 1 #postitnotepoetry

  1. I only ever got to study Elizabethan poetry at uni, as part of a wider Elizabethan Lit course. I still think it would have been great for us to attempt to write some poems in iambic pentameter, because I think you only come to really appreciate and understand the work by getting down into it. But as you say its held at a distance, revered even.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the work/play so far and love that its all in, best you can do in the time available and who cares if its not so shiny.

    To tell you the truth its the one thing that’s keeping me centred and grounded at the moment having to write some meaningful words everyday.

    So thanks to the brainstrust for coming up with this one. And thanks for featuring one of mine.

    • I am totally up for trying something that goes a bit deeper – especially now I have a few days grace from hoarding poems!

      I think my problem is my ‘reading’ doesn’t happen automatically like that. And I think so much was given over to the study of metre etc at uni that it took any joy out of it… gutted to its bare bones mechanisms – even the most beautiful really flounders.

      I got the Ode Less Travelled last year – so perhaps it’s time to dip in beyond the mere enjoyment. Or not! Continue to fly the flag of the Philistine.

  2. Going to throw another idea out there: at the end of the month each person submits their best 4 or 5 poems and we put together an anthology of images (typing up completely optional) and pass it around as a PDF for one another. I’ll definitely be doing it with my collection at the end of the month, sharing it as a free download via my blog.

      • No performance anxiety allowed here.

        I think that’s a great idea. I’d considered taking what I had and putting them into some physical form… I think Lulu.com is possibly the best way of approaching it – given that is what they do best. Funky coffee table styled books.

        Will have to rewrite a few of my poems and get them in a better shot, but that’s okay!

        Right now it is about the words on the paper… and trying to gently administrate the explosion. And trying to tie up my old year neatly.

  3. This is a wonderful idea, Jodi and Adam. I’d spotted the #postitnotepoetry reference on Twitter and Facebook — and wondered what it all meant. Glad I found out. You know my fondness for haiku, Jodi, and I’ve written a vast number of bad ones. If I’d known about this in time I’d probably have joined in — and, yes, probably in 17 syllables. That’s just how I roll.

    Enjoy the month and my heartiest cheer to all of you from over here on the sidelines. There can never be enough poetry in the world.

    • Jump on in Kevin. While we started on the 1st of February… there is nothing stopping others from joining in along the way and defining for themselves what they want to it to be.

      I want to see your haiku on post-it notes.

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