Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category:

Character Mashup–“Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem, Too”

This poem, by Jim Hall, is one of my favorite mashups, and I often read it in Talking to Your Characters and in Teen Poets at Bellevue College.

 

To see Jim Hall’s take on his poem, as well as the entire poem printed out, go here.

Another game to try! Do one OR MORE of the following:

1. Create a mashup poem of your own, mixing a fairy tale character with a celebrity, or a superhero with a politician, or anything else you can think of. Post the poem in the comments.

2. Write a poem from the perspective of a particular celebrity, fairy tale character, superhero, politician, historical figure, etc. Post it in the comments.

3. Record yourself or a friend performing the poem and post the link in the comments!

Don’t miss our upcoming Teen Writing classes at Bellevue College, beginning July 14. There’s enough to keep you laughing, creating, hanging out with other writing teens and sitting in the sun (yes, I like to go outside) for a whole month! (And if that sounds like bliss to you, the way it does to me, we want to meet you!)

Some writers like to sign up for back-to-back classes, so they can immerse themselves in their creative process all day. This isn’t supposed to be like school and it won’t be. (Ask one of the writers who comes back year after year after year.)

 Week 1, July 14-18

Teenage Novelist: The Novel in a Nutshell

Teen Poets: Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

Teenage Novelist: Talking To Your Characters

 Week 2, July 21-25

Creating Graphic Novels (Dana Sullivan. Waitlisted)

Young Writers’ Workshop (Waitlisted)

Teenage Novelist: Writing Short Stories (Lois Brandt)

Teenage Novelist: Scenes and Dreams

Geek Fiction Writing

Week 3, July 28-August 1

Teenage Novelist: Plotting and Scheming

Teenage Novelist: Revisioning the Novel

Teenage Novelist: Publishing

 Week 4, August 4-8

Teenage Novelist: Novel Intensive

Teenage Novelist: Writing Short Stories (Lois Brandt)

Teenage Novelist: Live-Action Writing

 

And don’t forget August 10-13

Summer EpicWrite Camp!!!     (not affiliated with BC)

A Word on Risk

 

“You built some dandy walls

That held back the fire

And the barbs

But also the heat

And the fruit

That make it worth the suffering

The wind will blow through the remains

Of your fortress

And that mournful noise

Will be all the eulogy you are entitled”

©2014 Shane Guthrie

(excerpt from a longer set, which I will post later.)

Game of Poems

Young woman dancing

Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

You speak in riddles because

You ache to speak.

You ache for space

To expand and contract.

You cast your words into the chasm,

To be caught by one

Whose breathing holds your breath.

 

When your foot finds the brink

You ask the air

Questions.

© 2013 Katherine Grace Bond

Poetry is dangerous. The instructor urges extreme caution. Bring paper, pens and words (caged if necessary). Hear the work of young poets, published and unpublished and then let your own words out. Cut through the steel bars and let loose what you really want to say.

Teen Poets is part of the Bellevue College Summer Teen Program’s writing classes. I’d love to see you there!

Register for Teen Poets

Okay! Let’s play a game!

This is what poet Shane Guthrie calls an “infection set” of poems.

If you are the first commenter, write a poem that begins with the first line of the poem above: “You speak in riddles because”
If you are the second commenter, write a poem that begins with the second line: “You ache to speak”
…and so on.

Don’t worry if you finish your poem and someone has already commented ahead of you before you can post it. Life is made of such happy accidents. Ready, set, write!

Image by © Blue Jean Images/Corbis

Can We Talk?

I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.

But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art. We’d all need pens and notebooks and maybe sketchpads. I’m going to share part of the book with you and then we’ll talk about the girl in the book and maybe about ourselves, too. Then we’ll need the art, because art has this amazing capacity for healing. We’re going to each choose a piece of art–on a gallery wall, maybe, and sit with it for a while, and write. The fancy term for this is “ekphrastic poetry” (a term I like very much).

That’s about it.  The workshop would be free (I got a 4Culture grant for it), so all I need is the people and the art. I could take a max of maybe a dozen. If you know someone who doesn’t usually get to do this kind of thing because of money, let me know. We’ll figure out the dates when we’ve got the people, but I’d like to do it in the summer. The only constraint is it has to happen in King County. Who’s in? Who can find us some art?

Here’s an excerpt from the book. In this poem, Alice, the main character, is staring at a Jackson Pollack painting at the Seattle Art Museum.

Jackson Pollack--Sea ChangeSea Change

I could get lost here

In the tarry black of the Pollack.

It spiders me in,

Webbing faces, flames,

The sails of ships.

 

When I’m here,

I’m not there,

Not home,

Alert to every change

In his cadence.

 

If I climbed into this painting,

Tumbled

Into the starry depths

I would land somewhere

Quiet.

 

What would it be

To stop the ringing fear

Inside my head?

To lose my footing

And fall, no way

for anyone to reach me?

 

I would land in a hall of mirrors,

Each self beckoning me

To follow in and in

Until all I could hear

Was my own abandoned voice.

©2014 Katherine Grace Bond, from Looking-Glass Girl, manuscript in progress

 

I Held Poems

Those most beautiful

I couldn’t read for a crowd.

When Sexton, blind with love,

Saw her daughter’s life stretch out,

When Thomas sang in his chains like the sea,

And refused to mourn–

 

Once I was in that cold embrace

They carried me along and up and down the peaks of waves.

I was in thrall.

They made me pull in my breath.

My throat ached its resistance.

 

And sometimes in my search for words

I felt my face draw shut

When an image opened,

Tender as a wound in my mouth.

 

Sometimes I wrote about my father,

Discovering, even after fifty years

The fresh mark of his inscrutable rage,

And reading it as loss,

Even though I knew he was across town

Nursing the clock on his wall.

“Don’t be an absentee,” he’d said the last time,

As if I must remember to vote

Before the polls closed.

 

Once I took him out

And brought a book of poems.

He complained

About the slowness of the coffee,

Barked at the waiter for not knowing

That Belgian waffles have strawberries,

Not peaches, goddamnit.

 

I read him a poem by Shelley,

One that wouldn’t bring me to shame,

And another by Hopkins that almost did.

 

“Now you,” I told him, sliding the book across.

He turned the pages and began,

Stopped,

Began again,

Then, in midsentence, closed the book.

“Can’t,” he said, and looked away,

My father,

Bearing my unshed tears.

 

©2014 Katherine Grace Bond

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Geek Fiction” and Other Writing Classes this Spring at Bellevue College

Art by GriffintheUndertaker

Art by GriffintheUndertaker

You’ll have Doctor Who for homework!!!

Here’s what I’m offering at Bellevue College in the Spring  (Registration probably begins in March):

Geek Fiction Writing
This course analyzes popular sci-fi, fantasy, superhero and dystopian screen favorites to discover what makes them tick. Then we use these tools of excellent storytelling in our own original fiction. This is a step beyond fanfic, as you’ll create characters and worlds that are wholly your own. Fandoms might include Middle Earth, Doctor Who, Spider-Man and The Hunger Games. High School students welcome.
Capacity: 15
Times: 6:00PM – 8:00PM Room: North Campus, TBA
Dates: 04/15/2014 – 06/03/2014 Tuition: Fee 169.00
Days of Week: 8 Sessions T

Teenage Novelist: Creating Fiction Using Ingredients You Already Have in Your Own Brain
Is your cat really an alien collecting information to beam back to his ship? Are you actually famous, but you’re living in disguise so you can defeat the enemy before she destroys the planet? You may be a writer. Take heart, you are not alone! Some people even get paid to do this. In this workshop, we’ll use hands-on exercises to capture stories before they get away. You’ll learn basic storytelling techniques, finding ways to gather plot ideas, create unique and believable characters, and find hidden details that will bring your scenes to life. You’ll create scenes based on what you’ve learned and (if you like) share your work.
Capacity: 15
Times: 10:00AM – 2:00PM Room: North Campus, TBA
Dates: 04/19/2014 – 04/19/2014 Tuition: Fee 59.00
Days of Week: 1 Sessions S

Teenage Novelist: Talking To Your Characters
Marvin Whickpucket refuses to behave. When you want him to defeat the evil Onchnu, he won’t. Instead, he sits on the couch, surfs cable and eats potato skins. “This is boring!” you tell him. “Why are you acting this way?” “I miss Ilandra,” he says. “We had a fight. She said we were through.” “Why didn’t you TELL me?” you say, incredulous. Marvin shrugs. “You never asked.” Learn how to deepen your story by listening to your characters. Each class allows for hands-on exercises based on your work-in-progress and time for group critique.
Capacity: 15
Times: 10:00AM – 2:00PM Room: North Campus, TBA
Dates: 05/17/2014 – 05/17/2014 Tuition: Fee 59.00
Days of Week: 1 Sessions S

Teenage Novelist: Plotting and Scheming
Marvin Whickpucket and Ilandra have been eating waffles and jumping through space-time portals for 12 chapters, but nothing seems to be happening. The evil warlord Onchnu is breathing dire threats, but you don’t know whether the Kleeg attack should happen in chapter 13 or should have been back in chapter 4. This course focuses on the structuring of the novel – often the most challenging part of novel-writing. Discover the three words that drive your entire story. Find out how to avoid mid-novel sag and how to keep your reader turning pages all the way to the end. This class will focus on completing an outline of your novel, and a synopsis – “the story of the story.”
Capacity: 15
Times: 10:00AM – 2:00PM Room: North Campus, TBA
Dates: 06/07/2014 – 06/07/2014 Tuition: Fee 59.00
Days of Week: 1 Sessions S

Poetry In Character
Have you ever thought Spiderman might be bored with his job? Or that Gretel may have lost Hansel in the woods and still be searching? In this class, taught by poet and novelist Katherine Grace Bond, we’ll take characters from literature and pop culture and write poems from the characters’ perspective. We’ll discover a wealth of character poems from a variety of poets. And we’ll create our own characters for poems. These could even be the beginning of a novel-in-verse.
Capacity: 15
Times: 6:00PM – 8:00PM Room: North Campus, TBA
Dates: 04/17/2014 – 06/05/2014 Tuition: Fee 169.00
Days of Week: 8 Sessions Th

 

Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

This is a course description for a poetry class I hope to offer this summer at Bellevue College.

Teen Poet: Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

Poetry is dangerous. The instructor urges extreme caution. Bring paper, pens and words (caged if necessary). Hear the work of young poets, published and unpublished and then let your own words out. Cut through the steel bars and let loose what you really want to say.

You speak in riddles because

You ache to speak.

You ache for space

To expand and contract.

You cast your words into the chasm,

To be caught by one

Whose breathing holds your breath.

 

When your foot finds the brink

You ask the air

Questions.

 

©2013 Katherine Grace Bond

Postcard Poetry Project: Drones

This one goes out to Michelle Castleberry, and is best understood as a response to her fabulous poem, “The Gift.”

Drones

The night you stole the hives,

We had gone out—

A thousand of us guys—

One last rollick on the town

Before sampling the delights of our virgin queen.

 

The girls had fed us ambrosia for days

As they gazed into our compound eyes

And exclaimed at the size of our mandibles.

 

The queen could hardly wait, they sighed,

Assuring us that every man would have his turn

At ecstasy.

 

That night, mustered just beyond the apiary,

We boasted how we’d dive like comets

Over her—each one of us was sure

He’d be the first and best to rock her world.

 

But flying home, a little drunk,

We found the bee house carted off,

The homestead vanished,

Our drowsy queen

An adolescent dream.

 

And now there’s not a wing

To prove we’ve not imagined our own race—

No buzz in rhododendrons, no

Dancing grace notes on the wind,

Not one sweet treasure left on earth.

 

Unless it’s true the night you

Spanned the globe and made off

With a million honeyed palaces

You found some best-forgotten mercy

And left a scent the drones could follow.

 

It’s said that a year’s walk from the horizon

Where lone and level sands stretch far away

A solitary storehouse thrums with bees.

 

And so we wander,

Stingerless and hungry

For the sight of her—

A thousand consorts, who sweep the barren land

And mourn the kings we might have been.

 

© Katherine Grace Bond

drone-bee

 

Postcard Poetry Project: “Frogging”

This month I join a slew of poets who will send a postcard a day with an original poem written on it. This one goes to Lenora Good. The card had a frog on it, so here’s what emerged:

Frogging

Torpor is another

of the frog’s proficiencies—

that pond-bottom state where

respiration slows and the heart calms.

 

The work is not yet complete.

Best to dream of a bow pulled

frog to tip and back in two long notes,

so that the frog is both the finish and the start.

 

Or dream of greatcoats

with knotted rows of fasteners.

Or rue the months of knitting tugged apart,

so that “frogging” is both

attachment and unraveling.

 

The frog knows this as she burrows deeper—

quiet, so quiet she can hear minnows

gliding above her,

so still she can feel the thrum

of her own story—

a yarn, worthy of beginning again.

 

© Katherine Grace Bond

 

Ekphrastic Poem–“Mountain (Relievo)” after Cris Brodahl

“Relievo” by Cris Brodahl, 2010. Oil on Linen.

 

Mountain (Relievo)

 

And when you climb,

Anticipate the weight

Of the journey—

Rope, pick,

Pack, piton—

Consider

The deceptiveness of glaciers,

The hut you never reach, the gorge

That takes you, without warning,

To the bosom of the earth.

 

Don’t ask yourself

Why you are here—

You know.

 

You are encumbered

Even standing still, even

If you never had begun the climb.

 

Wet snow, waterfall, shock

Of edelweiss—

This is your native land,

Beautiful Yeti—

The eye that stares out from the stone

Is yours—

Fear of steepness,

Wariness of ice,

Your birthright.

 

Feel

The pull of your calves,

Your hands’

Grasp

On each crevice,

And, arriving at the peak,

The sway of your own heart.

 

Let yourself be slight

And the mountain immeasurable.

The rock

Cradles your bones inside:

Foot,

Shoulder,

The raised contours of the face—

You see yourself

In relief.

 

©2010 by Katherine Grace Bond. Written as part of the Seattle Art Museum’s SAM Word Program, in response to Cris Brodahl‘s “Mountain” exhibit.