National Poetry Month is less than a month away and this year I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating in The Found Poetry Review's Oulipost project. I had so much fun challenging myself to write a poem-a-day last year with their Pulitzer Remix Project, that I've come back for more!
Oulipo - Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (or "workshop of potential literature") is a group of mostly French-speaking writers and mathematicians that seek to create works using constrained writing techniques.
So FPR has enlisted me along with a whole army of poets (82!) from around the globe to participate. That means starting on April 1st, Ouliposters will be writing a poem-a-day for the whole month of April based on a daily Oulipo-inspired prompt and using their daily local newspaper as a source text.
Be sure to follow Oulipost on twitter at #oulipost
Here's a brief interview with me about the Oulipost project:
1. What excites you about Oulipost?
Being forced to write a new poem every day.
2. What, if anything scares you about Oulipost?
Being forced to write a new poem every day. Ha!
3. Have you written experimental or found poetry before?
Yes! I sometimes incorporate Facebook and Twitter newsfeed lines I find into my poems. I also love to create and teach my students erasure poems using only a sharpie and a newspaper like Austin Kleon's newspaper blackout poems. You can read an interview I did about last year's Pulitzer Remix project with Cult MTL here.
4. What newspaper will serve as your source text?
The Montreal Gazette.
5. Who's your spirit Oulipian?
Italo Calvino is my homeboy. Have you ever read Invisible Cities? It exploded my brain. In it, Marco Polo describes the different cities he's encountered in his travels to Emperor Kublai Khan and each "city" is more magical than the last. I totally make reference to it in my first book, The Emperor's Sofa, and I have a poem from Marco Polo's point-of-view in my forthcoming book, Rabbit Punch! Sorry for the cheap plug but Invisible Cities means that much to me.
I'm also partial to Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style, and Georges Perec's La Dispararition (literally translated "The Disappearance"), which is a novel composed completely without the letter 'e'.
Read Oulipo, people. They're really fun.