Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! (Net connection was down this morning, repairman has come and gone, so hopefully the connection will stay live through today's fishbowl.) 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. (The permanent landing page for the Poetry Fishbowl project is here.)

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is stages of life, selected by the audience in a recent poll. I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.



EDIT: The poetry fishbowl is now closed. Thank you all for visiting.


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.


Cyberfunded Creativity

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) 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.

3) Matching donations. You can pledge a certain amount (say, $10) toward a poem if somebody else puts up the same amount, or you can pledge to match donations up to a ceiling (say, $30) as long as other people are contributing. Matching donations are also allowed for the general fund.

4) Call for cosponsors. If you crave a particular poem but can't afford the whole thing yourself, you can team up with one or more other people to sponsor it. This is a good way to fund the epic poems with custom pricing. You can post your call for cosponsors in the comments here, or make a separate post on your own blog, or both. Please let me know when you're calling for cosponsors for a poem, so that I can echo that in a separate post here and more people will see it.

5) 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. Details are here.

6) Spread the word! Post about the Poetry Fishbowl on your blog and link to it. Tell your friends about it and encourage them to participate. Do you belong to another social network such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.? Spread the word there too, and include a link back to the project. Rate my poetry on Poetry Blog Rankings so it will attract more attention.
Poetry Blog Rankings


Additional Notes

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.

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 through LJ's private-message function. If you're not logged in but you want to see the poem inspired by your prompt, give me your eddress; I recommend using {at} and {dot} to discourage spammers. 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.


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 "stages of life." I'll be soliciting ideas forcharacters in a particular life stage, milestones marking life stages, memorable events, cultural motifs related to life stages, and poetic forms in particular.

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 first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms 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 at least one new person posts a prompt! The rest will go into my archive for magazine submission.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poetry, writing
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