Make Me Write a Poem!


I’m trying to raise funds for my favorite local literary nonprofit, Brick Street Poetry, Inc., and am hoping that some of you might be able to help. This month, Brick Street has published an online anthology, Haiku for Hikers, and in an effort to raise funds, is asking people to vote on their favorite haiku from the anthology via PayPal donations. Disclosure: I have two haiku in the anthology (on pages 47 & 48), and it’s been announced that the poet who generates the most income will receive a monetary award. To this I say: please don’t feel obligated to vote for my poems, AND if I somehow happen to earn the most donations, I promise to donate the award money back to Brick Street. The goal is simply to earn funds for this stellar organization. And, as luck has it, during September, Brick Street will also receive matching funds for all donations!

So I’m pledging to write at least 10 poems in 10 days, from September 8 through September 17 (as of today, we’re scheduled through the 18th, and will continue if donations come in). If you have the time and inclination, please follow along (I’ll post the new poems daily) and consider supporting poetry by making a donation. Every bit helps, especially with matching funds. To make this fun, and with hopes of enticing you, I’ve instituted a few incentives:

Name That Poem! For a $15 donation, you provide a title, and I’ll write the poem during the mini-marathon. Be imaginative. Make the title as long or as interesting as you wish – consider this a dare! But this incentive is limited to only ten titles (unless forced by demand to extend the challenge). Titles from previous challenges ranged from one word to upwards of 80, and also included such atrocities as “Calvin Coolidge: Live or Memorex,” and “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven.” These were, of course, among my favorites to write.

Use These Words, Poet! For a $16 donation you can offer 3 words that I must use in a poem. Why only 3? Because I’m (a) chicken (pawk, pawk!), and (b) I hate relinquishing control of my poetry’s language. Yes, yes, I know. This says horrible things about my character. But look at it this way, you could combine the first two incentives (for a $25 donation) to force me to use your title AND three words that I likely wouldn’t use otherwise, which is about as much control as I’m able to give up (shuddering). Be kind. Or not. But it would be nice to produce  publishable poems…

Isn’t Broadside a Military Term? Well, yeah, but in this case it’s also a printed poem. For a $10 donation, I’ll send you my broadside of “Mayflies” or “The Loneliness of the Last” — your choice — or perhaps one from the current challenge.

But feel free to donate any amount. These are just suggestions.

Brick Street has provided this information for those interested in voting:

Please check out Brick Street Poetry’s new anthology “Haiku for Hikers” and help the author of your favorite poem receive recognition and monetary reward.

Instruction for voting for “Haiku for Hikers” Poems.

Readers can access the online version by clicking on “Anthology” at the top, far-right of this Brick Street Poetry webpage  Reading is enjoyable & free!

Then vote for your favorite poem or poems by clicking the Pay Pal Donation Button and making a donation of any dollar amount and placing the poem’s number for which you are voting in the comment section. You may vote for as many poems as you want but need to describe the split of funds in the comment section or make a separate donation for each individually if voting for more than one. Donations of less than one dollar can’t be split. If more than one # is listed without splitting instructions, all money will be credited to the 1st poem listed.

Poems receiving $10 in donations will be included in the printed version of the work, and the poet will receive 3 free copies of the printed version. The poem with the most public support will receive an honorarium equal to half of the donations received for that poem.

Your support will mean a lot to the poet for whose poem you vote and it will mean a lot to Brick Street Poetry too!  We thank you for reading the work of the poets included in our anthology and for your support of your favorite or favorites.

Thanks very much for considering this!

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