Saturday, November 1, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: Marketplace (and announcements)

TOPers: first, a reminder. Responses to the prompt should go on the Wednesday evening post, not on this post.

Second: Mike McCulley and I started Totally Optional Prompts a little over a year ago, when Poetry Thursday went down. Poetry Thursday has since been reborn as readwritepoem, and is going great guns. In addition, a bunch of new prompt sites have sprung up, including Poefusion, the new Writer's Island (Writer's Island Journals), the new Monday Poetry Train (not strictly a prompt site, but devoted to poetry), Miss Rumphius's Poetry Stretch, One Single Impression (formerly One Deep Breath), the monthly/bimonthly Cafe Writing, and more that I haven't time to list. Plus writing prompts that are not specifically for poetry, like Sunday Scribblings, Weekend Wordsmith and 3 Word Wednesday. It's gotten to the point where I have trouble keeping up with the prompts I follow, and I question whether it's worth having that many prompt sites active.

Plus, I'm finding keeping TOP going by myself to be a bigger job than I really wanted to take on. I put a lot of work into the early prompts, trying to prompt people not just to write poetry but to really think about the process and the goals writing poetry and to stretch their abilities in different directions. Lately, I simply haven't had the time.

So here's the deal: One way or another, I'll keep TOP going in the present format through the end of the year. There will be some free-prompt weeks coming up around the holiday seasons, but there will be a Prompt and a Request for Poems every week (barring disease or disaster on my part).

I would like someone from the TOP community to step up as co-host for alternate months. Don't feel you have to write the same kind of prompts as either Mike or myself; all I'd ask is that you are reasonably reliable about getting four (usually) prompts and requests out per month.

After the new year, if I don't have a volunteer for co-host, the format will change to either biweekly or monthly. I hope that the quality of the prompts will improve; if I can't find the time even on a reduced schedule to write the kinds of prompts I want to write, I'll shut TOP down. I want TOP to be not just about producing poetry but about improving us all as poets, and if I as host can't put in that much effort I really can't expect anyone else to.

Feel free to leave comments or emails about this. As I say, nothing will change until after the new year, and I'll try to post ahead of time what's going to happen, so there should be no surprises.

Now, for this week's
Totally Optional

A marketplace can be a lot of things. A farmer's market with local produce and livestock. A mini-mart full of plastic packages. An economic abstraction. But real or imaginary, a marketplace is a place to buy, sell and trade; a place to meet other people doing the same.

This week let's consider poetry in relation to marketplaces. Have you ever seen or heard poetry performed in a marketplace? Ever marketed your own poetry, or someone else's? Bought or sold a poem or a book of poetry?


Linda Jacobs said...

Hi Tiel, I'd hate to see this site die out but I'm sure it's a lot of work, too! If no one else steps up, I'll be glad to try to help out.

I'll be teaching my poetry-writing high school class starting at the end of January and I'm hoping to get some of them to participate.

I've got plenty of ideas for prompts: some I've done before and some new ones I want to try.

~Linda Jacobs

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I'd be glad to help out as well. I know I can surely supply some prompt ideas. Reach me backchannel at: ravenswingpoetry AT gmail DOT com.


Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I forgot to mention: I have some specific ideas for prompts in February.

Anonymous said...

First, thanks for the plug.

Second, I've added this site to the (new) cw blogroll - our database was killed last night (my fault, I shouldn't have been mucking with code), but maybe a fresh look was due?

You're a great writer, and an amazing supporter. Be well.