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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Sunday, March 9, 2014


As I understand it, this is the "team-back", the getting prepared, finding out if the link to your blog etc. works for this project...what a great idea.

1.WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST? Almost literally everything. It is so avant garde, so experimental, it makes me shiver with expectation. The scope for discovery of my own growth in poetry and in finding out what other people are able to do is virtually limitless. It turns out as I grow older I am also growing less timid, readier to take on tougher challenges (or at least, things that feel tougher) but with less fear. After all, what have I to lose? Only the chance if I don't take it. That's the way I look at it most days any how.

2. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, SCARES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST? Funny you should ask...I've written a poem addressing this very topic and it will be in the post right after this one entitled, "Contemplating Oulipo and Pataphysics"...I wrote it using a group of words from the prompts at the Sunday Whirl in case you're interested and there's a link provided to them at the end of the poem...

3. HAVE YOU WRITTEN EXPERIMENTAL OR FOUND POETRY BEFORE? IF SO, TELL US ABOUT IT. Before last April, when I took part in the Pulitzer Remix Project, I would probably have answered this question with an emphatic "no" but since then I've realized that I have actually done quite a bit of "experimental" types of poetry over the years. Some of my earliest poems were written to specific "orders" - for instance - "Write a poem with 3 line stanzas, each line no more than 9 words" - that poem, "When Trees Weep", in a form I'd never tried before, found a home with theverbfori's "melisma", and so it went. In September of 2013, I studied ModPo through Coursera and the University of Pennsylvania on-line, where we learned about all sorts of experimental poetry and were invited to try some ourselves - everything from Gertrude Stein's "Tender Button's" to Bernadette Meyer's "Experiments" and Christian Bok's Eunoia, just to name a few.

4. WHAT NEWSPAPER WILL SERVE AS YOUR SOURCE TEXT? Oddly enough, this is the toughest question of all for me. I am still not sure which paper will be suitable for this challenge. The Edmonton Journal is sadly lacking in some areas, the Sun smacks of sensationalism but is poorly written. The jury is still out on this one.

5. WHO IS YOUR SPIRIT OULIPIAN? Hmm. I'd really like it to be a woman (just because there don't appear to be all that many women) - Anne F. Garreta comes to mind, as does Michelle Grangaud (the latter I admire immensely because of her ability to blend anagrams and sestinas, both of which I find intimidating). However, if I'm honest, the Italian, Italo Calvino, with his beautiful, "If on a winter's night a traveler" is a hard act to follow and may well be my spirit Oulipian, gender be damned.

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