This past August saw me entering a poetry marathon. As it was my first time, I chose to complete the half-marathon. For twelve hours, on the hour, contestants received a prompt for writing a poem. Within the hour, the poem had to be published on the site. I finished the first poem with 4 minutes to spare, enough time for a bathroom break and to pour a second cup of coffee, but then I got behind for the next one and ended up writing a haiku. Not that haiku are easy, and not that mine was any good, but it was short enough that I had time to edit and work with it! I caught up and continued on in much the same way for the remainder of the contest.

I now have twelve poems I can edit and perhaps send in for publication. The Poetry Marathon hosts, Caitlin and Jacob Jans will put together an anthology of the contest winners and will publish one of my poems: TWO THUMBS. Thank you both for the work you did over the course of the contest and for all you do throughout the year to support and promote writers!

I also learned a new form for writing a poem: The Golden Shovel. This was from prompt eight of the contest:

The prompt for hour eight is to write a golden shovel. Not familiar with the form? That is not surprising, it was created in 2010 by the poet Terrance Hayes in his poem The Golden Shovel.

It is pretty simple though. First you take a line or lines from a poem you admire.

Use each word from the line(s) as the end word of each of the lines in your poem. So for example if you used a line with ten words, your poem should be ten lines long.

Keep those words in order.

Give credit to the original poet.

I chose Margaret Atwood’s poem, It Is Dangerous To Read Newspapers.

Here is my certificate for completion of the half-marathon. The contest may not run next year unless volunteers step up to take it on. I am so glad I entered this year as I met fabulous folks from all around the world. Poetry brought us together!


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