Exquisite Collaboration Poem: HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR 2022

One of my new paintings, as yet untitled. (c) Joanne Brokaw

A note about this poem:

During the November Holiday Shop Hop at Central Creatives Co-Work of Art, I invited visitors and shoppers to write on an index card one hope they had for the new year and then clip the card to string I had hanging around the entrance to my studio. I explained that these would then be combined to create a community poem. This was the first in-person poem I’d facilitated since the Covid lockdown began in 2020.

Most people were skeptical at first, until I explained that they only had to  write one hope they had for the new year – the rest of the poem would work itself out. I added that they shouldn’t try to be funny and don’t overthink it. I loved watching people’s faces when they finally grasped the concept; even the most resistant took time to jot down a thought and quietly clip it up with the rest of the cards.

Well, here’s what you all came up with!

Every contribution was included: 37 cards, 37 lines, from all ages, sorted into hopes, frustrations, and positive intentions for the coming year. The only changes I made were to capitalization and punctuation. Nothing else was changed to force it to fit. This is what is is, and that’s what it is supposed to be.

My hope for the new year is that you know that you are born of the heavens and stardust courses through your veins. May you be a willing portal for creativity, innovation, and community in 2022. xo

At the end of this post, you can read more about the Exquisite Collaboration Project, and find links to past collaborative poems.

And now, the poem….

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My hope is that Melania and Ivanka can bury the hatchet since they’ll be roommates at the crowbar hotel.

I hope that empathy find its way back into the hearts of the people,
for everyone to be treated equally,
hoping that people can be kind to each other and respect one another again.
More common sense.
Less division.

Will it get better?
For the new year, I want Covid 19 dead.

Celebrate the small things:
Happy, healthy family
Beautiful clouds
Rock hunting Lake Ontario by moonlight
Finding joy in my art
Healthy new granddaughter; a peaceful, loving community; an end to the division in our country.

I hope my fantasy football team wins.

To discover my purpose and live it every day,
I want a cat.
I would like to stop putting things off until tomorrow,
find more “heart” in all I do.
I hope for improved health and well being for all of my loved ones and a bright future for all.

My hope is to find my soul-mate in 2022.

My sister and I have a better relationship.
More open hearts, ease,
more sunshine, less pain.
Joy and self love!

Finding hope again.

My hope is for the humans to treat other humans equally,
build bridges to end these divides,
find more gratitude,
joy and peace, contentment,
the end of Covid worldwide.

I hope that I will be successful in going through the college process.
I hope my future explodes like a supernova, so bright!
To take a journey, enjoy the adventure and have a new story to share,
to be happy without others,
you are exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. You can only compare yourself with yourself.

Hoping that the world heals, in as many ways as possible.

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THE POETS, in no particular order:

Laurie Dobson
Chris Hipps
Ella Eckert
Amy Krecker
Joan R.D.
Christina G
Wendy Kaiser
Connie Gaylord
Sue Anulis
Mark Groaning
Maxwell M Clement
Alex Eckert
and those contributors who wished to remain Anonymous

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The method I use to paint requires a lot of mess, some experimentation, and then patience to let the paint do its own thing and let the images or message reveal itself in its own good time. This is one of my new paintings. It started as a giant mess – I mean, it was a disaster – and I was going just to scrape the canvas and start over. But I was tired and decided to leave it overnight and deal with it in the morning. I was delighted when I checked on it  – the colors had settled and images started to emerge. It’s exactly the process we used in this poem – I took what we had and let it reveal itself when it was ready..

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This Exquisite Collaboration Project is based on the Exquisite Corpse, a technique created by Surrealists in the early 1900s, in which participants add to a work with no one seeing what the other participants contributed. My goal is to encourage non-writers and artists to embrace their creative selves in a safe, supportive, “you can’t fail” environment.  What began as a way to maintain some sort of connection with other people during the early days of the Covid lockdown has continued to unite strangers from around the world in creative collaboration.

Click here to read the series of Exquisite Poems done during the Covid lockdown along with other collaborative projects, and to find the links to the current prompt so you can join in the fun.

To learn more about my workshops, visit my website.

Join author & artist Joanne Brokaw on Small Business Saturday, November 27, 2021

Join me and the other artists at Central Creatives for a three day holiday pop up event on Black Friday weekend. Stop up Friday 11/26, Saturday 11/27, or Sunday 11/28 for some beautiful, unique items from local artisans.

I’ll be there throughout the weekend but I hope you’ll stop up on Small Business Saturday between 11 am and 4 pmI’ll have signed copies of “Suddenly Stardust” available for purchase as well as a selection of jewelry, bookmarks, ornaments, photo frames, and a bunch of discounted “less than perfect” items. And as an added treat, throughout the day I’ll be doing mini-readings of some of your favorite columns as well as book excerpts and new micro flash fiction. All weekend you’ll be able to contribute to a collaborative poem, and who knows? I might even give some stuff away.

Central Creatives is located at 349 West Commercial Street, in the Piano Works Mall, East Rochester, NY, 14445, right off 490. Park at the end of the plaza near Ferrari Pizza and enter through the red door between Weaving Arts Guild and Penn Fair Golf. Then just follow the signs to the second floor (via stairs or elevator). Use the gallery entrance to get to my studio. There’s plenty of free, accessible parking at Piano Works and lovely restaurants nearby – make a day of it!

Visit me at online http://www.joannebrokaw.com.

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Get back to work, Buttercup: a”Suddenly Stardust” reminder for myself

“Suddenly Stardust: A Memoir (of sorts) About Fear, Freedom & Improv”, in progress, 2018

This morning, a memory popped up on Facebook reminding me that three years ago today I was almost done writing what would become “Suddenly Stardust: A Memoir (of sorts) About Fear, Freedom & Improv”. At the time, the book had no name and was a pile of loosely connected thoughts and ideas, but I was in the midst of the most creatively productive phase of my entire life and I knew in my soul that what I was writing would be transformative for both myself and anyone who needed to hear the message.

Three year later, and this book is not a best seller. It’s not a mildly mediocre seller. I don’t even promote it that often because I feel guilty taking money from people. But then I remember that my publisher needs to eat, too, and part of my job as an author is to not just write but also sell books.

I sold two copies “Suddenly Stardust” at an open house last week at Central Creatives CoWork of Art, where I recently moved into studio space. I wasn’t even talking about the book. I was just talking with people about pour painting and improv/writing classes I have coming up and the power of “Yes And” in all of them. People spotted the book themselves – or the book called them to itself as it sat all pretty on a display table. I don’t know how the magic of book sales works.

But it was a good feeling to know those books were going home with someone who might read the words and find courage to take a chance, to try something new, or at least see the world a little differently the next day.

Right now, I’m no longer in a creatively productive phase. In fact, I’m in a rut – physically, emotionally, mentally – which is especially frustrating since 1) my job is to help other people through their own creative ruts; 2) I have boatloads of resources at my fingertips so I have no excuses; and 3) at the new studio space I’m surrounded by wildly creative and incredibly supportive people.

I’ve been blaming this funk in on Mercury being in retrograde, and there’s some truth to that. But it’s also just been an exhausting, exhausting, exhausting 18 months and, while some wonderful things have definitely happened during lockdown, the struggle of trying to find the silver linings and keep moving forward while also being stuck in place is finally catching up. It would be easy to sit back and wallow in that.

Then I realize that sometimes I need to go back and read my own words, because when it comes down to it, I wrote them for myself as much as for the reader. And so my message to myself today?

“You’ve got business to attend to, Buttercup. The world is waiting.”

from “Suddenly Stardust: A Memoir (of sorts) About Fear, Freedom & Improv”

No one is asking me to move mountains. Just to put one foot in front of the other. Just to type a few words on a page. Just to open a bottle of paint and make a few brush strokes. I don’t need to know the next step or the end result or the why of anything. Just that if I’m not contributing my part – insignificant as it might seem to me – I may be holding someone else up, which holds someone else up, and on and on and on.

You can find “Suddenly Stardust” in ebook, paperback, and hardcover at your favorite online retailer. Or you can just click here: https://amzn.to/39zRZLs

If you’re interested in classes, workshops, and other events, or if you’re looking for a speaker for your next event, visit my website.

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