Enjoyed attending a New Year's Eve poetry/writing workshop at The Blue Moose Cafe with spoken word artist Joe Limer, Morgantown Poets and friends.
We had an ongoing discussion about competitive slam poetry, including the three-minute limit in slam competition (check out these links for NPS 2013, PSi and Pittsburgh Poetry Collective, Steel City Slam, Young Steel, etc.) We talked about poetry as performance art, using words that have immediate impact, speaking to your truth, making it personal, being honest with the page, and much more.
As part of the workshop, Joe gave us several writing exercises.
To kick things off, he had us write down the first word that came to our minds. Then we used sight, smell, sound, taste, touch (all of our senses) to describe the word. We could also personify the word, making our chosen word "long-haired," for example.
For my first word, I chose "Burst," describing it as red, sour, heat, rust, bells, time, tall, competitive, red-haired, freckle-faced and growing teenager.
In the second exercise, Joe had us write down another "first word that came to mind." Spotting a wooden decoy-style duck (one of the Blue Moose decorations), I of course, thought of the word, "duck." Joe then told us to write a letter from the first word (in my case, "Burst") to the second word ("duck").
My workshop letter went as follows:
"Hello duck, you may not remember me because I was here when you were born, when you hatched into the world. You broke through your eggshell into a thunderstorm. The large raindrops pounded the waters as you called for your mother to feed you. But she stayed at the nest and protected you. She kept you safe, dry and warm. As days passed, you followed her everywhere. You imprinted your being with her being in an explosion of love. Thank you for listening. From your friend who was there all the time, Burst"