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A month of poetry

Day 1: A poem about an animal.
Day 2: A poem about the weather.
Day 3: A haiku on a subject of your choosing.
Day 4: A poem about something that made you happy.
Day 5: A poem about something that made you sad.
Day 6: A poem about the earth.
Day 7: Anything you would like.
Day 8: A poem about how you feel.
Day 9:A poem about someone you love.
Day 10: A free verse poem of your choosing.
Day 11: A poem about a plant.
Day 12: A poem about color(s).
Day 13: A poem about fire.
Day 14: Anything you would like.
Day 15: A poem about how you perceive yourself.
Day 16: A poem about something scientific.
Day 17: A song on a subject of your choosing.
Day 18: A poem about technology.
Day 19: A shape poem on a subject of your choosing.
Day 20: A poem about water.
Day 21: Anything you would like.
Day 22: A poem about life.
Day 23: A poem about food.
Day 24: An ode on a subject of your choosing.
Day: 25: A poem about sports.
Day 26: A poem something historical.
Day 27: A poem about air.
Day 28: Anything you would like.
Day 29: A poem about friends/friendship.
Day 30: A poem about dance.

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Alana Gooden never thought she would live to see her 18th birthday.
Her brother died in a car accident when she was 12 years old and the emotional impact lingered in the family for years. By the time Gooden had reached her junior year in high school, her world came crashing down. After a falling out with her mother, she moved in with a friend and her family in poverty-stricken North Philly.
She started cutting class, and went from her high school's honor roll to failing.
Danger became a real part of her everyday life: She helplessly watched a man open fire on a crowd outside a corner store where she had stopped for hoagies with a friend.She even considered selling drugs to make ends meet.

Yet, after relentless urging by her creative writing teacher, Cait Minor, she joined the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) near the end of her junior year in 2010. Gooden turned 19 this year is now using spoken-word poetry -- or "slam" poetry -- to express herself. Performing in front of a crowd has helped her build up her confidence.
"At the time, I didn't think that could help me in any way, I was already struggling," she said. "But I actually came out and I've been hooked since then."

With the help of her poetry mentors, Gooden has turned her life around. She graduated from high school in June and will attend Temple University in the fall.

Gregory Corbin -- a social studies teacher and spoken- word poet -- founded PYPM to provide a positive outlet for teens in his native Philadelphia who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

"We're not interested in just about making young people better poets, we want to make them better people at the end of the day," said Corbin, the movement's executive director. "We're doing our best to provide tangible, concrete solutions for these young people." Read more...Collapse )

Poetics in Psychotherapy


One of my friends was talking about how writing was just part of who they were and about how other parts of their life were just as important, but I think for me writing is the lynch pin of who I am. If I don't write I can't balance my life, if I don't balance my life, I cant write. Writing is a way of transforming, understanding my life and my experiences. But If I don't let myself have those experiences I have nothing to write about.

To let writing matter, to make writing matter, to give writing the place in my life I think it deserves I would have to change and rearrange a lot of things about the way I live.

I would: stop ingesting the amount of caffeine I do because that blocks me, but have the occasional cup of delicious real coffee, go outside more, listen to the radio more, watch good quality tv, spend less time on the internet but make the time I do spend of better quality, read more, go swimming, make collages, make soap and candles, do more cooking, listen to more music.

And make space and time to write in without feeling guilty

Jump start

  • Empty, tidy and scrub desk

  • Clean computer and screen

  • Tidy workspace bookshelf

  • Light candle to make workspace smell nice

  • put immediately relevant notebooks, diaries, books. pens etc on desk

  • Put up pictures behind computer

  • bring down writing stuff from upstairs

  • Daily schedule
  • 500 words for personal blog

  • prompt from lj/dw

  • prompt from book

  • start new poem

  • play with/tidy up existing poem

  • Tidy Desk

  • Read

  • Weekly schedule
  • move all 'final' drafts to private entries in blogs

  • update list of what is finished and what is where.

  • blog about writing

  • Monthly schedule
  • check out competitions and deadlines for next 2 months

  • submit two pieces of work a month