Week 2: Prompts, News, and Poets who are doing it

What an exciting week for writers, including the novel-ty of poets writing daily in November.  Exciting because this week Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights has invited writers of all ilks to write in the bookstore window for an hour. I'm going to start with a report on how that's going, then feature a poet who used the prompts at "Read + Writer: 30 Days of Poetry" last April, and end with seven prompts, one a day for this week!

News - Writers in the Window at Appletree Books

This sweet bookstore has been in the middle of the exciting Cedar Hill  neighborhood
Dianne Borsenik in the window
since 1975, back then as a children's bookstore and now offering new books for both children and adults, as well as beautiful cards. Back in September Jane Rothstein contacted me, among many authors, inviting us to write in the window of the bookstore for National Novel Writing Month, though she noted that one didn't have to be a novelist to come write. I sign on immediately, and writers still can, in some spaces that are left later in this month here.

So far, Jane tells me, "We actually have a number of poets coming in.  We've had Christine Howey in this past Tuesday, Susan Oelbracht was in yesterday, Linda Goodman Robiner was here earlier this morning, and Dianne Borsenik will be coming in tonight.  Susan and Christine will both be in again next week, as will Philip Metres.  Meredith Holmes also recently signed up for a slot in the middle of the month....Christine she did say that she wrote a few poems while in the window - most of them being haikus, but still...."

Janet Cho has reported on the window writing at Cleveland.com this week, and you can read her article and see a photo of playwright and poet Christine Howey writing in the window here.

So it sounds pretty exciting. I'll be there this coming Wednesday, November 9th, so wave if you are strolling by on your way to Nightown or Aladdin's. Or better yet, come in and buy a book!  

Location: 12419 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106

The Poet: Julie Ursem Marchand

Weekly, I am featuring a writer who use the prompts last April, and this week, Julie is up. This is who she is and what she had to say about the process of writing a poem a day for a month:

Julie Ursem Marchand is delighted to have one of her poems featured in Diane Kendig’s blog topic A Novel Idea for NaNoWriMo – Write Poetry! She looks forward to participating in Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry for National Poetry Month every April since it began and encourages others to check it out. When Julie is not writing in Elyria, she can be found sharing her love of reading and helping patrons use the computers at the North Ridgeville Branch Library of the Lorain Public Library System or acting on one of many area community theater stages. Her poetry has been published in The Squire: Grand Tournament III Anthology and The Squire: Page-a-Day Poetry Anthology 2015 both by Writing Knights Press in Cleveland, Ohio. She has also had poems included in the 2016 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology by Crisis Chronicles Press from Cleveland and in Delirious - A Poetic Celebration of Prince by NightBallet Press from Elyria in June. Her poetry was broadcasted on Charles Cicirella’s Radio Ether program #876 and also had one of her poems published in the digital June 2015 issue of The People’s Tribune from Chicago. Julie has been one of the many featured poets at two different Snoetry’s and was one of the three featured poets at the newly relaunched Artists Unite! at Olde Towne Hall Theatre in North Ridgeville this past March. Julie shares her love of the local poetry scene stretched across northeast Ohio and is currently working on her first book of poetry. Her first novel may also be in the works. Write on!

The Interview:

Q How many of the three years have you used the prompts?

A: I have been using your prompts since your 30 Days of Poetry began three years ago. A lot of us share the link to your email registration on our facebook pages and I look forward to seeing which poet you will feature that day. I am happy to say that I know many of your featured poets every year.

Q: Have any of the poems been published in print? Have you read them before at other readings?

A: I do not currently have any of these poems published, but I will once my first book of poetry is published. I am hoping to decide which poems I am going to include and where I am going to submit them for publication soon. I have read several of the prompted poems at many spoken word events in the area including a couple of Snoetry's. I am usually at every Monday at Mahall's Poetry and Prose series on the first Monday of every month. We are taking July off because the first Monday is July 4th, but we will be back in August. I was the featured poet at Mahall's in May and I read many of the prompted poems then.

Q: Are there any of the prompts that seem to work better for you? that don't work?

A: My favorite prompts are the ones that involve trying out a different writing format or style. I never tried writing an etheree or twitter style poem before, but they have quickly become favorites and I will write poems like that again. Some of the poems about different topics can be more difficult, but it is important to think outside of the box and try something new. Every writer and poet can go through bouts of writer's block and even start to feel stale. I get inspired by hearing other writers and poets in our area and following prompts like the ones that you put together can help me think about things in a new way and make me a better writer in the long run.

Q: Do you know anyone else who has been writing to them?

A: I know Kathleen Gallagher whom you featured early on this year. She enjoyed the pictures I took of my spine poem and shared them on Google Images as examples of spine poetry with my permission. I also know Steve and Theresa Gottl Brightman promote your 30 Days of Poetry event every year. I can ask my friends to see how many have written poems based off of your writing prompts. I don't get on facebook everyday, so it can be a little easy for me to lose touch with what everyone is doing sometimes.

Q: Would you send me your favorite poem? (Again, I wouldn't use it without permission.)

A: My favorite poem is the etheree poem I named Daydream. I never heard of that poetry style before, but it came together so beautifully even before I gave it a minor revision:

(etheree poem for April 28, 2016)

wish that
I could fall
down the rabbit
hole like Alice and
escape the sheer madness
of this world to a place full
of smoke and mirror nonsense where
we can quietly sip at our tea
feeling perfectly at home with chaos.

I’d laugh and show you our abode behind
the rose bushes where all our dreams and
wild adventures will begin
beneath the toadstool of the
Caterpillar smiling
up at the Cheshire
Cat winking back
and we won’t
come back

-Julie Ursem Marchand

Q: Could you tell me about yourself as a poet? How long have you been writing poetry? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

A: I am from and still live in Elyria, Ohio. I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a kid, but I didn't start really getting into writing until I was in high school. I wrote a lot when I was in college and thought that I would write even more once I graduated and got a real job. HA! I learned just how funny life could be in that respect. It wasn't until I started going to spoken word events a few years ago that I felt brave enough to pick up the pen again and make time for myself to discover my true voice.

Here you will find a poem by a Northeast Ohio poet and below that, a prompt. If you did not  use the 30 prompts in April, these are still good to go. And if you skipped some, here's some makeup work:

November  7th - A poem from a political statement, much more timely this month!
November 8th - Every day say or do
November 9th - Attachments
November 10th - Rituals
November 11th - Fibonacci!
November 12th - Opening Lines
November 13thFacebook

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