Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poetry Instigator

Today we welcome Lucy Biederman of The Poetry Instigator. The Writer's Center and Fall for the Book have teamed with them to have a free poetry contest as a way of drawing exciting for upcoming poetry events at Fall for the Book(and poetry in general). The Poetry Instigator was the driving force behind this great new idea. Remember, several poets connected to The Writer's Center will be reading at the festival, including Charles Jensen (Director), poet & translator Yvette Neisser Moreno (workshop leader), Paula Bohince & Brian Teare (poets who're reading at The Writer's Center co-sponsored event, and Therese Svoboda (workshop leader).

What is Poetry Instigator?
The Poetry Instigator is a community that, we hope, encourages poets and nonpoets alike to write and share poems they might not otherwise have written. The site has two sections, the blog and the forum. On our blog we offer prompts, discussion, debate, and interview with poets. Our forum gives people a chance to share the poems they've written based on our prompts.

What prompted you to start your Web site?

Eleanor Tipton and I are both MFA students at George Mason University, where many of our classes involve writing and sharing poetry prompts. Even outside of class, I make up prompts for myself when I write; I love the sense of being "freed" to write something new, something I didn't expect from myself, by some kind of conceit or constraint. Ellie mentioned the idea of setting up a blog that featured our prompts, and I loved the idea. We got to work immediately, with the help of Alison Strub, a poet and friend who is wise in the ways of the Internet.

What separates you from other poetry places online?

What we most want to offer is a community of writers. We hope to be a place where graduates of MFA programs and writers who are interested in poetry but trepidatious feel comfortable trying it out and sharing their work. Right away, people were pretty active about posting poems on our forum; it's exciting to see the enormous diversity of poems that can come from a single prompt.

Tell us about the contest.

We're partnering with George Mason's weeklong fall-semester book festival, Fall for the Book, and The Writer's Center to offer a contest that is free and open to everyone. Write a poem that incorporates a quote from ANY Fall for the Book 2009 author, and email the poem, with your name, contact information, and the source of the quote, to Send your poem as an .rtf or .doc file, and please keep your name and any other identifying information off the actual poem, as we'll read the entries anonymously. We're looking forward to reading these poems!

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