Whew! What a great first day! I didn’t read everything, but I did read a lot yesterday, and I enjoyed a lot of what I read. Plus, it’s great to see all the positive feedback from so many. Before today’s prompt, I just wanted to call your attention to a couple things. First, you can navigate the comments by clicking the Older Comments and Newer Comments links at the bottom of each page’s comments (you may need to click multiple times in some cases). That’s new, and I assume it’s to help page loading time. Second, I posted some tips for handling the April PAD Challenge; if you haven’t read them yet, click here.
For today’s prompt, write a secret poem. The poem itself could be a secret, or it could be about keeping secrets or, I suppose, not keeping them. Or maybe it’s about a top secret project, or the poem is a riddle with some sort of secret meaning. Or, well, I’ll let you figure out how best to poem secretively.
Great poetry–like great fiction–can only be achieved through great work and perhaps a little luck here and there. But even great poetry will go unnoticed if a poet doesn’t know how to go about building an audience for their poetry, which is a skill in and of itself.
Learn how to go about building an audience for your poetry in the 60-minute tutorial: Build an Audience for Your Poetry, which will cover what a writer platform is, how to build one, useful tools in building a readership, balancing social media with writing, and so much more.
Here’s my attempt at a Secret Poem:
speak in code
tell me stay
tell me go
i will throw
to the night
for that dress
fit just right
is not safe
if you set
me to stay
i will get
Today’s guest judge is…
Afaa Michael Weaver
Afaa Michael Weaver is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most recently City of Eternal Spring (University of Pittsburgh 2014), which completes his Plum Flower Trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, The Government of Nature, won the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award.
His other honors include 3 Pushcart prizes in poetry, an NEA (1985) and Pew (1998) fellowships, a Fulbright appointment (2002) and inclusion in the 2014 and 2015 Best American Poetry anthologies. Also a playwright, he received the PDI Award (1993). He teaches at Simmons College and in the Drew U. MFA program in Poetry.
Poem Your Heart Out again!
The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.
Anyway, the anthology worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount from Words Dance by pre-ordering before May 1, 2015.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
More poetic posts here:
- 2015 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines.
- Solving the World’s Problems: Year One.
- Terzanelle: Poetic Form.