Welcome to the first workshop of 2015! *confetti*
Hi, I'm PinkyMcCoversong
. You can call me Emily. I write all kinds of poetry, but one of my favorite styles is found poetry. So, for the next few weeks, I'll be guiding you through the world of found poetry. Using found poetry techniques is not only one of my favorite ways to write, but it's also a way to give yourself a creative kick in the butt when you're having a hard time revving those engines.
This workshop might be a bit different from previous workshops because 1. there's a LOT to be had in found poetry and I want to give you a taste of a few different methods and 2. I'm hoping that each participant can send us three to six different pieces based on three different featured methods, which I'll describe below.
Here's how we're gonna do this thang:
- You have until March 1st (when I'll post the first of the how-to journals) to familiarize yourself with the not-required-but-totally-fun-and-useful-recommended reading, as outlined below. You can also read while we write, but it's good to get ahead!
- There will be THREE how-to journals (one for each of the methods briefly outlined below) over the course of two weeks.
- After each how-to journal, a folder will open for that method. Place the piece(s) you'd like workshopped into the correct folder. (Remember, you learned things, so put your pieces in the correct folders!
- Everybody critiques everyone! I really want to see you guys interacting on each other's pieces.
- At the end of the month, I'll post a round-up with feedback on some of the submitted pieces from each category.
- -500000 for submitting poetry that IS NOT FOUND.
So. What is found poetry?
Found poetry, in its many forms, uses already existing text (or source texts) to create brand new poetic narratives. There are a few basic types of found poetry from which every other style seems to originate. Over the course of the workshop, we'll be doing in-depth studies of each of three methods, which I'll briefly outline below, with some recommended reading. (Seriously, read! Reading is so good. And fun. And helpful! Especially when trying something new!)
This is possibly the most common type of found poetry, or at least the most visible. Erasure poetry (sometimes called blackout or whiteout) is created when the author literally erases certain words of a source text, leaving the remaining words and phrases to create something new. You can do this visually, with editing software on your computer or with a sharpie or White-Out on a book/photocopy. Or, you can just write out the words and phrases that you keep into a new document, adding or subtracting punctuation and changing capitalizations, creating new stanza breaks, etc., as long as the words appear in the same order that they appeared in the original text.
Examples on dA: Recommended offsite reading:
Cut up and remix are two sides of the same coin. While cut-up is sometimes more literal in that poets will take scissors to a text and pull cut out words and phrases at random to take a new text, remix implies a more strategic approach, in which a poet simply uses source material as a limited palette with which to create a new piece. You can use any word that appears in the source text, but you don't have to use the words in the order that they appear, like you do with erasure.Recommended offsite reading:
This is probably the hardest form of found poetry -- and deceptively so. It might seem easy, because a cento is essentially a stack of quotes from other sources. Some poets collect lines from different poems and put them together as a new poem. Some poets might use lines from novels or newspaper articles. The trick is to create a new narrative in YOUR voice using others' lines and quotes. That's where the difficulty comes in.
Examples from dA:
Hope DivingHope is the thing with feathers
diving for dreams;
we grow accustomed to the dark
and this sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is,
adjusts itself to midnight.
Though the stars walk backward,
I have come after them and made repair.
Eternity floated a blossoming
and he unrolled his feathers
with, "Let us look at the sky."
Better For Her PraiseBetter For Her Praise
Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
Without the gift of sight;
forever dead and lovely now.
She's glad the birds are gone away
On that disused and forgotten road,
the snow carefully everywhere descending
and they are better for her praise.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
between the woods and frozen lake,
what passed between us, she was only feigning,
she loves the bare, the withered tree.
She thinks I have no eyes for these,
as I have known them passionate and fine.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
and they are better for her praise.
Lines taken from Poems by
March days return with their covert light --
in the wave-strike over unquiet stones,
there, where the waves shatter,
you are the daughter of the sea;
but I like you calm, as if you were absent,
so that you will hear me.
I hunt for a sign of you:
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair --
perhaps not to be is to be without your being.
Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
rest with your dream inside my dream;
and because love battles,
maybe you'll remember that
the tree is here, still, in pure stone.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines:
"I remember you as you were,
in my sky at twilight" --
here, I love you.
Recommended offsite reading:
Down to Business:
During the first week of workshop, we're going to do erasures! Get your source materials ready! Some of my favorite sources are Teen Vogue
, sci fi novels, classic literature, and the local newspaper. What will you use?
Still looking for more info on found poetry? Check out Found Poetry Review
, which has pretty much everything you ever needed to know on this artform! And definitely feel free to post comments -- I'll answer all of your questions!
When you post your work, if you do any kind of visual presentation, you have to make sure that you black out any text that you are not using as part of your poem. Don't just cross it out, black/white it out completely. You can also use collage elements as part of your presentation, but you also have to use the same rules that would apply to any collage. See this info
on collage and copyright. You can also check out the resources on fair use at Found Poetry Review
. ALSO, be sure to cite your sources as specifically as possible. For example, if you wrote a poem from a magazine article, cite it the same way you would for a research paper. If you use a book, do the same, and be sure to specify page numbers!