Tag Archives: Kay Gabriel

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 11

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Day Eleven Click to read the full post

Our featured participant for the day is Katie Staten, who wrote a poem in response to the “junk-drawer song” prompt that really does feel like a song.

Today’s featured poetry reading is a live event that will take place tomorrow, April 12, at 7:15 p.m. eastern daylight time. Pulitzer prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa will be reading online through Zoom as part of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, Massachussetts.

Prompt. This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response.

Happy writing!

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PROCESS NOTES: With PLENTY of musical rabbit holes!

Due to my slightly excessive Saturday diary, I spent most of this morning revisiting the Day 10 prompt. It is normal to find yourself sailing behind the tide a little with NaPo, (don’t let it worry you) especially if you are working, balancing a life and not chained to your laptop all day. I thoroughly enjoyed this prompt and although I wrote pages of material had to trust it would come together in the end.

And it did and it was fantastical and it was something that definitely wouldn’t exist without this prompt and also I feel my 3 pages of 10mins (or less) writes will provide me with more material to write from.

I bent the prompt a little, which is fine. I wrote about the junk drawer first and because most of my house is disorganised like a junk drawer I drew from memory. This is all I managed yesterday in between meetings and readings. This morning I added more detail to the junk drawer write, which was originally just a list of items. I spent a long while choosing a song, and couldn’t find a definite answer, so I made a short-list like a Top 10, closed my eyes and pointed at one.

I played ‘Riders on the Storm’~ The Doors and started to freewrite – 3 paragraphs – I didn’t officially time 10 minutes but the chosen video ran to over 7 mins and I was still writing into the second repeat. Then I re-read the prompt and replayed the track from the start focusing on textures and the other areas of the prompt and this came out more like a list of items. 1 A4 page.

It took 13 pages of work and is saved in a separate document to the rest of the work I have done so far. I really like the outcome, love the surreal feel of it. It still feels a little loose, I shall enjoy coming back to this one.

This afternoon has been busy so I didn’t read the new prompt for Day 11 until after 8pm. The featured participant is once again from a blog I already follow, I read Like Gods.

… tonight
we leave the windows open,
let the city in.

>

>

… A new home
held shut with staples,

>

>

When we start over
with spare paper and old notes,
we are like gods.

>

>

We’ve kept stones and broken things
to build our own world with them.

I was absorbed by this poem so much that I didn’t even consider the prompt, I read this poem, until the drawer was mentioned. I guess most of our drawers hold old notes, so lovely to know they now appear in our Day 10 poems. I love the fact that Katie Staten not only concludes the poem but also justifies why we hold onto junk objects. Double kudos for including the batteries – I had them in my freewrite but they didn’t make it into the final poem.

I read the prompt and the original source for today and I have decided to bank it for tomorrow. My brain is barely working and I have a memorial service/virtual Remembrance to attend. I feel I need to just STOP for a little while before that. Working through yesterday’s prompt and being in meetings, editing and reading/festival events today has been great but far from restful. I only hope tomorrow is a kind/small prompt so I can play catch up.

At least I demonstrate well how NaPoWriMo goes/how writing slides/how you just catch up and continue forwards.

UPDATE:

I caught up with Napo gaps earlier this week, this is a prompt I will keep in mind to do again, as I wasn’t that enamoured by the result of my 2 letters. Funnily enough this was an exercise I completed a while ago in Tawnya Renelle’s course. The prompt was just a little different and it results in a chain of email messages which worked better than my filling the gap letters for Napo. I did pen 6 poems the day I caught up so not all of them are going to work, but no writing is wasted. It may be ground for something else.

and try to be gentler with myself.

I missed  Yusef Komunyakaa’s reading as that evening I had several events.

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