Friday, December 12, 2008

Poetry and Writing Stunts

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a sucker for writing stunts, such as the “spontaneous poems” I did for awhile. (By the way, I fully intend to get back to that stunt one day very soon—so keep tuned in!)

Anyway, I found my way to the website of René Battelle, who has explored several varieties of writing stunts.
Main Page:

The following Writing Stunt ideas are inspired by René Battelle’s projects. In several instances, I’ve slightly modified what she describes on her website. Whatever the case, the credit goes to her for the inspiration.

Poem-a-day challenge—It’s self explanatory isn’t it? Write a poem every day for one month, any style, any length. (I’ve also heard of other poets doing this for an entire year, but that would be a Herculean feat!)

Stanza-a-day challenge--Write a four-line stanza for each day of the month, then post the entire poem for the 30th. The only real rule is that you are not allowed to look at the previous stanzas while you move forward with the poem. You can't look at any of them until the entire thing is done.

24-Hour Surrealist Poetry Marathon!--Produce one poem, written during that day sometime, that is no less than 10 lines long. Then the fun begins! All night, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m., produce at least one poem per hour. There are no form or line restrictions for those hours, and since you’re awake all night it could get weird, which is where the Surrealist bit comes in!

Midnight Madness—For one week (or month if you can stand it), write a poem every night at midnight. Wake yourself up from a dead sleep (if necessary), and give yourself a mere hour to compose, edit, and post a lovely piece of verse for general consumption.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words--See if you can produce a thousand words for a picture. . . . All right, maybe not a thousand, but how about as many as you can? The challenge is to produce poems and/or stories from pictures in magazines or any other source of photography.

Ten Hour Shower—For ten hours, 8:00 p.m. -- 6:00 a.m., write a poem an hour, two if possible. Start out writing in your bathtub or shower stall. From there move to other unusual writing locations as needed, such as under the kitchen table or with your feet in the fireplace.

Poetry Duel—Find a fellow poet with a strong constitution and challenge him or her to a poetry duel. Go back and forth each day and write poems in response to each other's poems. See if you can keep it up for an entire month.

Morning Minute—For one month, every morning, within minutes of opening your eyes from sleep, taking no more than a minute (but less, if it happens) to write everything you’re thinking.


René said...

A friend stumbled upon this while he was Google searching me, and I am very flattered and excited that my "stunts" are catching on! I'm constantly trying to come up with new ones, so keep checking, and of course I also welcome any suggestions.

Keith Badowski said...

I'm glad you found the post, Rene. I'm impressed with your inventiveness. Keep it up! I'll let you know if I find any new stunts to challenge you with. Peace, Keith