Join me for an Exquisite Quarantine Poem Project

photo courtesy of pixabay

Here in NYS, The Pause is extended for several more weeks. Boring! If you’re itching to try something new, join me as we create an  Exquisite Quarantine Poem.

This project is based on the Exquisite Corpse, a technique created by Surrealists in the early 1900s, in which participants add to a work one bit at a time, with no one seeing what the previous participants contributed. I’ve done this in my in-person creative workshops and I thought it would be a great way to spur some creative thinking and connect with others during this weird time of isolation.

Here’s how our Exquisite Poem will work:

1) People from anywhere in the world sign up to participate by filling out this Google form.   [5/28/20: this phase of the poem project has wound down, but stay tuned for more collaborative creative opportunities; you can see the recent prompt each month on the events page on my website.]

2) When you fill out the form, your name gets automatically added to the contributor list, and when the next opening comes up (usually within a week), you’ll get an email from me with either the prompt to start a new poem or the last line the person before you wrote, along with any instructions (should it rhyme, is there a certain word you should include, this is a free verse, etc.). You’ll write your lines and send them back to me.

3) Rinse, repeat, until we’ve gone through the number of people pre-determined to write that poem. I’ll compile everyone’s contributions and you’ll get to see the finished product before I post it and the list of contributors on this blog.

What if you’re not a poet or a writer? Not a problem! The Exquisite Quarantine Poem is the ultimate “Yes, And” – you simply take the prompt you’re sent and build on it. The final piece will be a weird but truly beautiful, collaborative creation, regardless of whether or not it looks like an actual poem (although you may be surprised as what you create together!).

Update 5/3/20: Please make sure that the email you provide is one you actually check regularly. While there is no time limit on how long you can take to write your lines, if you need more than 24 hours please, please let me know so I can keep track of poem’s progress. If I don’t hear from you within 24 hours, I’ll check back just to make sure you got your prompt. If I don’t hear from you in another 24 hours I’ll move to the next person, and you can always let me know if you want to be added back into the rotation.

Are you a visual artist? Photographer, sketcher, illustrator? Do you paint, sculpt, or create other media that you can photograph? Can you stage a scene and take a photo? I need images to post with each poem. I would give you a line from the poem and you select or create something I can post with that poem. There’s no wrong answer, and you don’t have to create something new unless you want to; something from your archives is great. You just have to give permission for your image to be posted and shared (with credit and links back to you of course). If you’re interested in this project, or have any questions, reach out to me via the contact page on my website.


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