We loved the freshness of Tamiko’s exercise, and the way that it challenges the writer to combine the particular vocabulary of one activity with the extremely close, almost manic, focus, of an “obsession.” As poets, we all have obsessions to which we find ourselves returning again and again, and Tamiko’s prompt provides a great way to step out of the boxes we draw for ourselves in order to approach a familiar topic from a new angle.
- First, make a list of your obsessions – the topics you find yourself writing or thinking about again and again.
- Now, think of a specific thing that you know how to do well – knitting, rock climbing, photoshop, fixing cars, etc. Make a list of as many words specific to that activity – the specialized vocabulary of it – that you can think of.
- Finally, choose one of your obsessions (not related to the activity you chose) and write a poem about it, incorporating as many words from the second list as you can.
Tamiko will receive a copy of Lisa Chen’s Mouth, courtesy of the folks at Kaya Press. Congratulations, Tamiko, and thanks once again to all who submitted!
Signing off for this National Poetry Month,
Iris & Mia