Word Play Poetry Fridays

Last night, I played a game with some of my poet friends from the Brighton Word Factory — it’s called, “Truth, Dare, or Toast.” One poet asks another to choose one of these three. “Truth” is something from the poet’s experience, where they have to respond to a question like, “Write about your earliest memory,” or “Write about something you don’t want to admit to yourself.” A “Dare” involves the use of form: “Write a song with rhymes and a refrain,” or “Write an Abecedarian (a poem of 26 lines where each line (or sometimes each word) begins with the next letter of the alphabet, running from A to Z).” A “Toast” involves composing a salutation of appreciation or remembrance for something — usually something not normally given such accolades, such as an hourglass or a battery. The poet who is to write chooses one of these, and then the challenging poet specifies the prompt. Once everyone has chosen one of the three and received a prompt, everyone writes for an agreed-on period of time (usually about ten minutes), and the results are shared. It was very playful, demanding in a sports-like way, and interesting both in the process and the result. This is the kind of creative support that we can share with a group of like-minded, open writers. Too often, poets tend to think they have to be in Emily Dickinson mode — writing carefully crafted pieces and then shoving them into a drawer to preserve their profundity. I like to see writing as fun, something to do together to support each other in the process of trying new things and experimenting with new means of expression. Although I am surely an introvert, I have found great benefit in community, in sharing my work with others and sharing, too, the process of working. 

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