In anticipation of National Poetry Month this April, the LR Blog is once again going to be holding a prompt contest. This year, we are pleased to partner with the generous folks at Kaya Press, a unique small press that focuses on cutting-edge work by Asian diasporic writers. Just as with last year’s contest, the top four prompts that we select (three runners-up and one first-place winner) will be featured on the LR Blog on the Fridays of each full week in April, beginning on the 8th. The winners will be announced in reverse order, beginning with the third runner-up and ending with the first-place winner. This year’s grand prize (courtesy of Kaya’s sponsorship) is a copy of Lisa Chen‘s Mouth, which our staff blogger Henry will be reviewing later this spring.
Here’s how it will work:
1) Leave a comment on this post that includes the text of your prompt. Entries must be posted by 11:59PM EST on Thursday, March 31st. Comments on this post will close after that time. Please leave some form of basic contact information in your comment (preferably an email address), so that we can get in touch with you if you win.
2) During the first full week of April, we’ll be choosing the four prompts that we like best. The winner and all three runners up will have their entries featured as Weekly Prompts on the LR Blog during the four Fridays from April 8th – 29th. In addition, the winner will also receive a special grand prize that has been graciously offered by Kaya Press: a copy of Lisa Chen’s Mouth. We will announce the runners up and winner week by week, starting with the third runner-up and culminating with the winner, so keep on checking back in April to see if your entry has been featured.
3) A few ground rules: You may only enter once. Please submit only poetry prompts. Keep all prompts appropriate: anything of a bigoted, demeaning, or nasty nature will not be considered; we’d also appreciate it if you could please try to keep your prompts somewhat PG in nature, as when choosing prompts we always try to look for flexible exercises that can be adapted for use with either adults or kids.
That’s it! We look forward to reading your entries. And while you’re at it, please do take a moment to check out Mouth or of the other titles on Kaya’s web site. Many thanks to Publisher Sunyoung Lee, Lisa Chen, and Kaya Press for their generosity.
11 thoughts on “Announcing Our 2011 National Poetry Month Prompt Contest”
Write a poem that captures the beauty of loss. Consider the impact the absence of someone or something can have on a person or situation. Consider playing with style with the absence of certain words or images. Sometimes the most powerful things are those that are left unsaid.
• 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.
Find one of your favorite short stories or essays; perhaps even one you might have written. Make sure it is a story that you know, or that you are going to read thoroughly. Deconstruct the elements of the story into a form suitable for a poem that is no longer than 20 lines. Rules: you must maintain one of the plot devices, and you can only use words that appear in the story. The purpose here is to show how dense and vibrant poems are, and how much they can convey with a few carefully chosen words. Can you recontruct the “essence” of a short story or essay in a poem?
Write a recipe for a meal from childhood. Replace the ingredients with words that describe the people, place and emotions that were present when you ate that meal.
Think of a place. Write down all of the words that describe the place. Describe the sights, the smells, the sounds, the tastes, the textures, the people. Write it all down letting it flow out like water. It’s OK if it’s in a jumble on a piece of paper. Circle or highlight the words you love and write a poem that evokes that place.
Take something frightening and write about why it is beautiful.
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