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Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The November theme was "doors and passages," selected by the audience in a poll.  A vigorous flow of prompts carried through the day and into the evening.  I worked from 1 PM to 2 AM, so about 11 hours accounting for breaks -- including when I went to vote. 

I wrote 21 poems.  A majority were medium, though I got several each of short and long; no epics this time.  Free verse predominated, along with a handful of forms; I devised a new form especially for "Bā Guà."  Plenty of poems this time stacked multiple prompts together; others were singles.  A total of 19 people sent prompts, wow!  Please welcome new prompters endlessrarities and kelkyag.  Thanks to them, you got a second freebie poem.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the November 2010 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:

"Bā Guà" (an Origami Mage poem)
"The Captain of the Cataract"
"The Door of Keys"
"The Door of Years"
"Form Follows Function"
"Ghostly Passages"
"How Chaos Came to the Cosmos"
"The Jewel and the Key" (an Origami Mage poem)
"The Old Building Thinks of Doors"
"The Pear Gate"
"Poetic Injustice"
"Puerta de los Muertos"
"The Rainbow Gate"
"To Build a Door"
"The Underground Gardens"
"The Waters of Hades"

I'm pleased to announce that the microfunded epic "RUT?" has been fully funded.  You can now read the whole thing on its original page.

Buy Some Poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the list of unsold poems from November. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.  (Note that I've also made "The Odd Trio" available again, as the prequel to "The Underground Gardens.") 

All of the sponsored poems have been posted.  Backchannel copies of the remainder have been sent to their various prompters.  I have posted the donor perk-post on the topic of wordplay.  As a special this month, people who voted in the election have been given access to the Donors materials.  Three cheers for our voters: aldersprig, janetmiles, nhpeacenik, wyld_dandelyon, laffingkat, eseme, and Doug Edwards.  The first phase of the generally sponsored poetry poll is up, so you can decide how to distribute funds.  A followup poll to select individual poems will appear Friday evening or later.

Donors for November include: ellenmillion, marina_bonomi, minor_architect, ladyqkat, nhpeacenik, the_vulture, kelkyag, janetmiles, laffingkat, and fayanora.  Huzzah for new donors kelkyag and fayanora!  They help make that second freebie poem possible.  You are all made of 100% gold-plated WIN.

Let's talk about prompts again...

The last couple of fishbowls were very slow.  This one was exuberant!  Part of that was simply the choice of a popular theme; "doors and passages" was the runaway favorite in the recent theme poll.  However, some other things popped up that I would enjoy seeing on a regular basis:

1) Lots of prompts.  Several people felt super inspired and posted long lists of prompts.  This is cool, because it gives me a lot to work with when I think about mixing and matching prompts.  It was behing a lot of the "stacking" of multiple prompts into individual poems.  It also contributed to some of the other stuff going on.  So if you have numerous ideas for prompts, write them all down; don't hold back.

2) Cross-talk among prompters.  This happens every once in a while, where people inspire each other and wind up creating long chains of prompts, counter-prompts, and discussions.  In several cases, these led to poems.  You are encouraged to chat with each other during a fishbowl, as you might if we were all sitting in my living room or a coffeehouse or whatnot.

3) "Found" prompts from comments on poems.  If I see something topically relevant during a fishbowl, I reserve the right to nab it for a prompt, even if it's not under the main fishbowl post.  I saw endlessrarities make an awesome comment to a poem I had just posted, so that led to another poem.

4) Quoting your prompts when you pimp the fishbowl.  janetmiles started this idea, which was quickly picked up by other folks.  It gives people an idea of what the prompts should look like.  Then aldersprig went one better, listing prompts and adding the thumbnail I gave for "The Road More Traveled."  If your poem gets posted, you can link to it or even reprint it, and your audience will get to enjoy even more of the fishbowl.  All of this helps boost activity, and is something you can do if you want to be useful but can't budget a donation.  It also raises your chances of getting that second freebie poem each month, if someone from your audience wanders over here to participate.

So basically, you-all were awesome this month, and I love you, and I look forward to doing this again.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
From: minor_architect Date: November 5th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, let's talk prompts!

Several people felt super inspired and posted long lists of prompts. This is cool, because it gives me a lot to work with when I think about mixing and matching prompts.

I was thinking that you may be able to encourage individuals to offer multiple prompts by letting your audience know what the next several months' worth of Fishbowl themes will be. That way, we'd be able to let those themes simmer in the backs of our brains for a good while and have more ideas to give you by the time the Fishbowls roll around.

You wouldn't have to give an exhaustive list, either - perhaps three or four months at a time - so you wouldn't have to worry about "locking in" an entire year of themes. And I noticed that you already have the perfect place for displaying such a list: the "Upcoming Activities" section of the Fishbowl's landing page.

Alternately, I'd also wondered if this would make a good donor perk; you could just give sponsors access to the current list of upcoming themes. Or if you feel that's too exclusionary, I'm perfectly happy to be talked out of that idea. :)

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 6th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, let's talk prompts!

That sounds brilliant. Thank you for the suggestions!

What I have done is combine your ideas: The landing page now lists the next two themes, instead of just one, to give everyone a little extra thinking time. I also made a donors-locked post listing all the currently scheduled themes. Usually I run a couple of polls per year and plot out the themes several months in advance, so the donors will have a good handful of things to look forward to.

From: minor_architect Date: November 6th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, let's talk prompts!

Huzzah! Thanks very much. :)

*runs off to have a peek*
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 6th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, let's talk prompts!

Yay! I hope you have fun with these.
4 comments or Leave a comment