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

My PoMoSco Experience Part 1 and a Poetry Book Giveaway (The Splinter Factory)

PoMoScoAfter spending April working at my internship site and participating in Found Poetry Review’s Poetry Month Scouts (PoMoSco) and the beginning of May finishing my internship, graduating (hurray), and taking a couple of weeks to rest my brain, I’m back to the blogosphere. Since the PoMoSco site is only up for another week, I thought I’d kick off with describing some of my experiences with trying PoMoSco’s found poetry prompts and giving away a copy of The Splinter Factory, which was the source text for my fourth PoMoSco poem and is a book I’ve read multiple times. You can enter via Rafflecopter at the end of the post until 12am Berlin time zone on 31 May 15.

Although I had initially planned to attempt all 30 available PoMoSco prompts and achieve the rank “laureate scout”, due to time limitations I satisfied myself with finishing 15, earning 250 points and the perfectly acceptable rank of “bard scout”. Today I’ll share my experience writing my first five poems with links to the poems.

1. “The Forgotten Part of the War” for Pick & Mix badge using the source The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

This badge required flipping through my source text (which I had not read before, although I had heard the first chapter in an audio book and decided I would some day) and writing down words that stood out. This method was more or less how I wrote all my found poems for Pulitzer Remix, so I was pretty comfortable with it. As I wrote down phrases, I began to write the poem in my head and look for phrases that fit with the direction I already wanted to go in. You can read the poem here.

Quilled and acrylic painted Sherlock Holmes posed on the first page of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Quilled and acrylic painted Sherlock Holmes posed on the first page of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

2. “In the Centre of the Black” for Shake it Up badge using the source The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

For this badge, I had to cut out words or phrases from a source text (I chose phrases), mix them up, and present them in the order they were pulled in. I didn’t feel like photocopying the page, so I wrote down the phrases I liked from two pages of my source, which I have not read yet, and cut them out. I thought that they seemed like phrases that would work in almost any order, but it turned out they did not work as well in the order I ended up pulling them out in. However they did sort of work depending on how I paused as I read it. After writing the poem I scanned those two pages for something that would fit as a title and settled on “In the Centre of the Black”. Since the badge required taking a picture of the result, and since I had made a quilled and painted Sherlock Holmes, I included it in the picture. (I recently set up a Facebook page for my quilling and other arts and crafts, so if you’re interested, you can check that out here.) You can read the poem here.

3. “On Fire” for White Out badge using the source Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

This badge required writing an erasure poem and using white out to hide the unused text. It’s hard for me to do erasure and I had only managed it successfully once before with a prompt from a Found Poetry Review exercise, so this was a challenge. I chose a source text I had read multiple times, Girl Interrupted, in part because of the white out look on part of the cover, and flipped through until I found something I thought would work. The poem actually came together pretty quickly for me. Since I didn’t want to destroy my book, I photocopied the source page. I used white-out tape, which ran out partway through. I made it through the rest of the blocking by pulling apart the tape dispenser and setting down parts of the strip that still had whiteout and running my finger on the back. It worked out well enough. You can read the poem here.

The Splinter Factory by Jeffrey McDaniel. Click the cover to go to the Amazon page for the book.

4. “From the Radius of Our Embrace” for the badge First in Line using the source The Splinter Factory by Jeffrey McDaniel

This badge required writing a cento using the first lines of selected poems from one poet’s collection with no alterations to wording but with allowance to alter line breaks, punctuation, and capitalization. I left the line breaks the same but did alter capitalization and punctuation. I have read the source, The Splinter Factory, multiple times, and I have fond memories of taking turns reading it with my creative writing major friends, so I thought it would be fun to use for this prompt (and it was). Since I also happen to have an extra copy of it, I’m giving one away, so enter via the Rafflecopter below if you’re interested in winning it for your very own.

I was originally skeptical about pulling this off since many of McDaniel’s lines are distinctive and break in places that could be hard to follow up, but I managed to start building a narrative which I was pretty happy with. I wrote the lines down on one page, then wrote the ones I wanted to keep on another page as I built them into a poem. Then I typed up the final version. I’m glad I went back over them at the end as it had sort of become sort of a game of telephone. Though minor, I had been changing some of the lines draft to draft without realizing it, such as having added “long enough” after “stabs at utopia”, which wasn’t there, having forgotten to write down “snowflake of a” before “woman”, and having turned “I know flowers are what you’re supposed to put here” to “I know flowers are supposed to go here”. I scanned the bodies of poems for a title and coincidentally ended up taking the title “From the Radius of Our Embrace” from the body of the same poem from which I used the first line as my last line. You can read the poem here.

5. “Operational Boundaries: FAIL is Acceptable” for On Demand badge using Google search results for the phrase ‘Acceptable Fail’ as the source

For this badge I first used a Random Username Generator to come up with a word combination. I thought it might be the Universe speaking to me when “acceptable failure” popped up as the first word combo since I don’t like to fail. My task for this badge was to use the Google search results for my phrase as a source but limit myself only to the titles and short descriptions. I had to go through about 10 pages of results because a lot of the descriptions contained variations of “Academic dishonesty is not acceptable and is grounds for failure…” At first I wasn’t sure I would pull something I liked from the words and phrases I had, even though I had written down several things. However, as I stared at my page of words, phrases started to pop out at me, and the poem began to come together. I ended up being pretty happy with the result. You can read the poem here.


You can enter to win a copy of The Splinter Factory using one or more of the options below. One winner will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter and contacted via email for a mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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