Week 3: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

On Tuesday this week, we reach the halfway point of NaNoWriMo, and if you have written along religiously (or doggedly or happily, but poetically) every day, you will hit your fifteenth poem draft then. If not, well I hope you got some information or inspiration here. If you are arriving here for the first time, each week I am providing 7 prompts, some poetry news and an interview with a poet who used these prompts last April. 



Native Columbus resident Chuck Salmons is currently President of the Ohio Poetry Association. His poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Pudding Magazine, Evening Street Review, Common Threads, The Fib Review, Red Thread Gold Thread, Everything Stops and Listens, and Appleseeds. He won the 2011 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest, sponsored by The Poetry Forum of Columbus, and regularly gives readings throughout Ohio. His first chapbook, entitled Patch Job, is forthcoming from NightBallet Press in 2017. Chuck loves science, which often influences his poems, and is thrilled about the discovery of water on Mars and gravitational waves. He works as Editor for the Ohio Geo

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

A: I came to poetry a little late and didn't start writing until I got to college, where writing gradually became a passion for me. Since then I've grown as a poet and am now president of the Ohio Poetry Association. I love representing and serving poets throughout Ohio by helping to bring them workshops and other programs to help them grow as poets and writers.
Q: How many of the three years have you used the CCPL prompts?
A: This year (2016) was my first year using the CCPL prompts and also my first year attempting the 30 for 30 challenge.

Q: Are there any of the prompts that seem to work better for you? that don't work?
A: Some of the prompts worked well for me. Some inspired other poems that didn't follow the prompts exactly. And others did not work at all. The spine poem, Fibonacci, and personifying a month of the year prompts were the most successful for me. The twitter poem prompt was fun because it was a new approach for me, but I'm not thrilled with the outcome.
Q: Have you presented any of the poems in workshops or readings? Have any been published in print?
A: I have not presented any of the poems and have not published any. I plan to revise a few and take to my monthly workshopping group. 

Q: Would you like me to publish or republish one of the poems?
A: Here is a copy of the poem generated from the prompt about personifying a month of the year, entitled "April:"


When first she speaks
there is a smile, joyous
with the thrill of coming
out of darkness
that has saddled her
for a lifetime.

She wants to open
her arms to the sun, dance,
sing like a pagan princess,
a familiar gleam in her
china blue eyes.

But heed this warning:
like a child she will turn
on you, throw a tantrum—
stomp her feet, scream
fiercely as a banshee
until she gets her way.

By then it’s too late.
You’ve moved on,
taken your love with you,
left her longing
for beauty all too brief.


Saturday, November 19th at 2:00 p.m. 

Book launch for the anthology In the Company of Russell Atkins

Join the 90-year-old poetry legend Atkins himself, along with the 28 poets who have paid tribute to him, with readings, stories, book-buying and signing and poet cameraderie

South Euclid-Lyndhurst Public Library

1876 S. Green Road, between Mayfield & Cedar Roads
South Euclid, OH 44121 

ALL MONTH LONG - poets and other writers are writing in the windows of Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights. You can read what I wrote on my two hours there last week here.  (Warning: it was the morning after elections.)


The prompts linked here are from the CCPL National Po Mo site:

Monday: State the day three times and check out a poem by Lou Suarez:

Tuesday: The word "bridge" and a poem by Steven Smith

Wednesday: An apology and a poem by Josh Romig

Thursday: Word of the year and a poem by Suzanne Ondrus

Friday: Four Montanaro stanzas and a poem by Darlene Montonaro

Saturday: Other languages and a poem by Miles Budimir

Sunday: 24 hours and a porm by Robert Lawry

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