Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Participating in Pulitzer Remix for National Poetry Month

Today is the start of National Poetry Month and the kickoff of Pulitzer Remix, a poetry project sponsored by Found Poetry Review. I and 84 other poets will compose a found poem for each day of April using our assigned Pulitzer-Prize winning books as source material. My book, which I requested, is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, a short story collection which I read and loved as an undergrad. You can see my interview for the project here and my first poem of the project here. If you’d like to follow my poems for the project, they’ll all be available here. You can also subscribe by email either to all the poems, or to individual books.

“What is a found poem?” you may ask. It’s a poem where the words and phrases that make it up have come from an existing work and have been rearranged into something new. There are many ways to write a found poem. The main one I have been using so far is to flip through pages, select words and phrases that stand out, and rearrange them. Other times I have picked words using a number scheme such as every ninth line or every third word of each page. Some people use an erasure or blackout method (which I haven’t tried yet but might before the project is over) where many of the words on a page are blacked out or erased and the words that are left behind make up the poem. Found Poetry Review hopes this project will generate awareness and interest in found poetry. 

Another goal Found Poetry Review has for this project is to put together a manuscript to pitch to poetry book and chapbook publishers. According to Jenni Baker, the creator of this project and the editor-in-chief of The Found Poetry Review, “Compared to traditional poetry, very few works of found poetry ever see publication. We look forward to putting together a manuscript of the best pieces from the project in hopes that these poems will live on beyond National Poetry Month.”

Found Poetry Review also wanted to create a community of poets working toward a common goal. They succeeded in drawing poets from seven countries. There has been a lot of online interaction between many of the participants leading up to this month, including sharing poem drafts and methods of “remixing”. I have even been exposed to a few forms I’ve never tried before. My first ever pantoum will be posted tomorrow. The opportunity to interact with and learn from other writers is a great aspect of being part of this project.

Speaking of learning, a former teacher of mine, Theresa Williams, is also participating in the project. She’ll be using Martin Dressler’s novel The Tale of an American Dreamer, and you can follow her work here. Theresa taught the fiction workshop where I wrote my first draft of the short story If I Should Die . This story later became the prize winner in Evolved Publishing‘s first short story contest and the first story in the anthology Evolution Volume 1.

I hope you’ll check out today’s poems on Pulitzer Remix and stay with us through the month of April. If you enjoy the poems you read, please consider leaving comments for the poets and sharing links to the poems with others.

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2 Thoughts on “Participating in Pulitzer Remix for National Poetry Month

  1. Pingback: Poetry Month: Pulitzer Remix | A Patchwork Life

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