Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "short forms." I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.
I'll be soliciting poetic forms of 60 lines or less, so basically below my epic range rather than only the short-short length of 10 lines or less. Free verse below the length limit is also fine. Here are 15 short forms with descriptions. Among my favorite short forms not listed there: hexaduad, indriso, sestina, villanelle. This list of 100 forms is alphabetical. Poets Garrett has my favorite list of forms, including a list of repeating-interlocking forms. Their main page has links to poetic forms of 3-10 lines. Plus a few of my own: A darrow poem is a short, haiku-like musing by dark elves. A khazal is a Whispering Sands desert poem in couplets. A moose track is a repeating-interlocking form. A tweet wire is a tiny 10-line poem designed for Twitter. Some short forms, like haiku and tanka, work well as verses in a longer poem. Have some kigo. We are in mid-late winter (northern hemisphere) but you can request whatever you like. I have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco so most forms should be in there. You can also prompt with a link to any exotic form you find; I collect these things.
In addition to forms, I also need topical prompts. One-word or short-phrase framing will assist in keeping them small enough to fit within the theme. Here is a huge list of common themes. This page of idioms has alphabetical and topical listings. I love writing poems about an individual word; see The Phrontistery (WARNING! Black hole caliber time sink ahead!) for glossaries or this list of untranslatable words. Have an orientation that is not well represented in literature? Ask for a sexual, romantic, or other orientation! If it's not on any of my lists, just include a description or link to one. Want to help me play with my holiday gifts? :D I just got The Urban Setting Thesaurus, The Rural Setting Thesaurus, and The Emotion Thesaurus and from last year I have The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus. Simply click "Look Inside" and view the table of contents for a list of cool ideas. You can prompt a sestina with six end words; I usually pick 5 short flexible words and one long exotic word, but I'll work with whatever I get. Favorite characters, threads, series, settings, etc. are also fair game but this is NOT the time for long plotty prompts. Consider combining a name or title with a short form, theme, or idiom. If you like to prompt with photos, this is a great opportunity for that. Just type in a topic (see above for possibilities) and click the Image link in your favorite search engine.
Among my more relevant series for the main theme:
Arts and Crafts America is ideal for picture prompts, or just name a craft.
Fiorenza the Wisewoman suits Italian forms, most of which are short.
Hart's Farm suits Old Norse poetry.
Kung Fu Robots goes with Chinese forms.
Lacquerware suits Japanese forms.
Or you can ask for something new.
Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:
Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19
Ladiesbingo Card 9-2-19
Less Usual Bingo Patterns Card 1-1-20
Click to read the linkback poem "Mr. Ian Woon and the Excellent Adventure" (13 verses, standalone).
What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?
Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.
In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "short forms." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:
1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.
2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated. There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.
3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).
0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.
4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here. See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"
5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your Dreamwidth, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network. Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall. Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl. If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published. If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.
Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem. One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal. Comment with a link to where you posted. "Mr. Ian Woon and the Excellent Adventure" has 13 verses and stands alone.
1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."
2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function. (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.) These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.
3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity. While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category. Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those. I've also posted a list of other donor perks there. I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.
4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.
5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl. These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size. If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; four of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be four months in a row. Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day. If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.
Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "short forms." See above for details. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.
I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations. Linkbacks reveal verses of "Mr. Ian Woon and the Excellent Adventure." The rest of the poems will go into my archive for future use.