(An illustration from Pass It On!) A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination,
any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others. ~ William Faulkner
Happy End of National Poetry Month and Happy Beginning of May! We hope this note finds you inspired with many new poems written during April.
This is a short newsletter which includes the following:
1) Our new project: Pass It On!
2) Two poetry prompts to inspire you beyond National Poetry Month!
1) Our New Project!
Pass It On! is a children's book by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (and illustrated by Gerald Purnell).
In Pass It On! Gloria tells the story of her father, Ernie, a janitor at the University of Mississippi who meets author William Faulkner and has his life changed with one act of kindness. We are proud to be publishing this inspiring book given the current state of our country and the world--Pass It On! celebrates building bridges in a divided world, compassion, acceptance, and the goodness of the human spirit.
Author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess
We have JUST launched a Kickstarter project to publish Pass It On! and to cover the cost of a book designer as Two Sylvias Press is stretching into the new territory of children's books!
Be part of the creation of our children's book project by pledging and/or spreading the word on social media!
We are so thankful for your kindness in helping us PASS IT ON!
An Illustration from Pass It On!
2) Poetry Prompts:
We've chosen two famous Faulkner quotes as inspiration for the following prompts. This first prompt is more serious and thoughtful, while the second prompt invites you to perhaps have some uninhibited fun...
William Faulkner wrote: Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
To start this prompt, make a list of a few memories (both large and small) over the last year. Maybe it's a less significant memory, like seeing a pond of ducklings, or perhaps a major memory, like traveling to a new place or the death of a loved one. Write down a list of specific images surrounding these memories in vivid detail, capturing all aspects of your experience (both positive and negative).
Now, write a poem by pulling images from your list of memories. Try exploring the idea of whether you would rather live life to its very fullest in spite of the inevitable pain --or-- if you would rather live with fewer experiences and less sadness. As you write about "the experience of pain and nothing" let your poem expand and go into places you weren't expecting--perhaps, even away from this prompt! If you need an opening line, consider starting with either "Given pain, I would. . ." or "I would choose...."
William Faulkner wrote: There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn't fool with booze until he's fifty; then he's a damn fool if he doesn't.
Write a poem about an experience with alcohol: the time you became drunk and you did an unbelievable, embarrassing, or shocking thing; or the time you shared one drink with a long-lost friend and reconnected; or the time you witnessed abuse caused by the overconsumption of alcohol. Explore the nuances of the experience--the humor and/or the sadness.
Use at least six of the following words in your poem: blush, pour, mirror, restless, Virgin Mary, mood, sack, throat, tattoo, cough, rumor, clouds, rough, ghost, whisper, photograph, false, charm, joke, chocolate. Begin your poem by asking a question: Why does...., How can..., Who is...., Where are...., Do you..., etc.