Monday, January 30, 2012

A Hard Day

I found some interesting topics in the Orlando Sentinel today--Orion space flight, Presbytarians splitting into two churchs over the gay issue, super Bowl, and more, but I couldn't get them to poem-ify.  I finally had to settle for an ugly topic an 18-vehicle pile up on I-75 with people dead and injured.  An ugly sad topic, but I think I turned it into a pretty good poem.

After that I took one of my earlier news print poems and revised it a little to turn it into a "regular" poem; then I entereed it into a contest for short poems with a narrative element.  Coincidently, that poem was also about a car accident.  I'm making my poems multi-task.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

They Like Me in Russia

Blogspot gives me stats each day.  Yesterday 32 people viewed my NewsPrintPoetry2012 blog-- an new high for me.  Thank you, all my anonymous readers!

The stats also show the country of the readers.  I have 16 readers in Russia.  They like me in Russia!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Taken from the Headlines

I did today's poem a little differently--instead of taking the words from one news story, i strung together words from the headlines. I started on A1  and continued until the end of the section. Te determine the order of the words, I began with the left column and read down, moved to the next column and read down, and so on.  I don't usually show the source material, but here is how I "found poetry" today.

p. A1 Clash on Immigration
Gingrich sticks to grandiose plans;
p. A1 Gingrich sticks to “grandiose” space plans

treats voters like chumps, 
p. A3  Scott Maxwell:  Pro-casino TV ad with Ben Stein treats voters as chumps

inciting public groups.
P. A4  Crime Report: Mom accused of inciting daughter to fight
p. A6  Orange Commissioner used public email to plug ballot measure
p. A8  Gay-rights groups: “Positive” meeting with Mayor Jacobs”

Gingrich attacks Romney.
p. A14  Visiting Mount Dora, Gingrich attacks Romney

Polls give boost to Romney.
p. A14  Polls give boost to Romney

GOP fight in testy debate.
p. A21  Senate ends GOP effort to block debt ceiling hike
p. A21 Gates pledges $750 M to global AIDS fight
p .A22 Discrpancies in his disclosures
p A22  Gingrich, Romney get testy in debate

Candidates trade shots.
p. A22 GOP candidates trade shots over integrity before Florida’s Primary

Florida, out time is being wasted.
p. A22 GOP candidates trade shots over integrity before Florida’s Primary
p. A26 Our Take Don’t starve higher ed
p. A26  Time’s being wasted on social issues

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google Search

I did a google search today for "blackout poetry" and "found poetry". 

Here are a few sites you might be interested in.  Click on the links below to see the websites.

Newspaper Blackout Poems

Creative Destruction

Read Write Think

Found Poetry Review

I consider my genre to be "News Print Poetry".  The main difference is that I keep the topic of my poem the same as the topic in the source. 

P.S.:  I know newsprint is one word.  I just like making it two words.  First, it won't be confused with "new sprint." Second, I like to emphasize that it is news in print.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Feel Lonely

I'm writing a poem a day. Every day.  No matter how much else I have to cram into that day.

I ask everyone to become a follower. So few do. I ask everyone to leave a comment. Almost no one does.  I feel lonely.

Even own family (except for my son) hasn't done it. Even my good friends haven't done it. I feel lonely.

I put it on facebook. I hand out cards with the blog address on it when I speak.  No one follows.  No one comments.  I feel lonely.

Sometimes people buy my books. This is free. But they don't follow; they don't comment. I feel lonely.

My friends have bought my books.  When I do a speech, audience members buy my books.  Sometimes they will me that they have read my blog and they liked it, but they don't follow or comment.

No one in my family has bought my books.  And I have a large family.  This is sad.  No matter.  I will keeep on keeping on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Selection ... and Deletion

The newsa print poems are not only about selecting words from a news story to be included in the is also about deletion. After a do a first draft, I start deleting words, deleting lines, deleting whoe stanzas. After that it is sometimes back to selection to find new words to delete those I deleted.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I am getting better ...all the time

I'm getting better at this after 15 days of creating news print poetry.  I am avoiding false starts.  When I began this I might make one or two attmpts at turning a news article into a story that I had to abandon because it wasn't working.  Now I can usually get a poem the first time I try.  Avoiding "false starts" make the process quicker and ensures that I am more likely to continue to do it every single day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Milestone: 10 Days

I have written a news print poem each day for 10 straight days now. Just 356 more to go.  Wouldn't you just know it--I had to choose a year that was a leap year to do this  requiring one additional poem. 

It usually takes a couple of hours to do each poem. I wonder if I will be able to keep it up.  Maybe I should have set myself an easier task, like writing a poem from only the Sunday paper.

Some days, I wrote more than one poem.  Now, that is dedication.  Maybe I can bank the extra poems in case I can't keep up the pace. As for now, I intend to keep doing one a day. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Formating Issues

Blogger drives me crazy sometimes because it won't format properly.  Formating is very important in a poem.  Formatting can change the whole meaning of a poem.

Sometimes Blogger won't skip a line, and sometimes it skips too many lines.  It looks fine before I publish the post, but then when I view it, it looks different. I might have to make several edit attempts to get it to look the way i want it to look. Once in a while I just give up.

Yesterday I wrote a poem, "Dieting Is Easy", and I wanted the frist letter of each line to be directly below the letter of the line above it. This would create a sense of motion, a sense of moving forward that fit nicely with the comparison of dieting to riding a bike.  Blogger wouldn't publish it the way I wrote it, and I finally gave up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taking Liberties

Sometimes I need a word, (sometimes even "a" or "the"), but it is just not in the original text where I need it to be. It is so frustrating. So I deselect words and select new ones until I have something that works. It is so thrilling to finally get a line that works for the poem.

Today's poem is "Dieting is Easy". In order to make the poem work, I back tracked to reuse a phrase so I could have repetition. I repeated the phrase "you might" three times even though it only apeared once in the article. Other than that nothing was added and the words remained in their original order.

Call it poetic license.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Not Blackout Poetry

All the blackout poetry I have seen takes a black marker and literally blacks out everything but a few chosen words that appear in what looks like a haphazard order.

I do not black out. I select. And, then I put the selected words into the lines of a poem. The words stay in their original order, but I decide the line breaks and punctuation.

It's a good thing that I don't black out because I revise extensively until I feel the poem is as good as it can be giving the restrictions of the form. If the words were blacked out, I wouldn't be able to put them back in.

For example today, as I wrote "Reservoir Wars, I noticed that a few words were rhyming. So I searched the news story and edited the poem to capitalize on the rhymes the reporter had inadvertently put into the news story.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Overlooked Gems

Sometimes I find a major news story to use for a poem, and then a find a little gem hidden away in the back pages. After a week of writing these poems, it seems like the smaller stories are the ones that make the best poems. However, major news stories will make more of a "Year in Review" compilation at the end of the year. It's a bit of a quandry.

I had already written the poem for Thursday when I discovered this gem.

O Christmas Tree!
The holidays are over.
There's one last thing to do.
Take down the decorations.
Abandoned Christmas trees
are on the curb.
The once glittery symbol,
off to the landfill.
A bittersweet tale.

©Catherine Giordano 2012

Today, I took this one from a Publix advertising circular that was included with the newspaper. 

Make It a Good Morning

Start your day off with a delicious breakfast.
Want the rest of your day to be great too?
Desserts essential.

©Catherine Giordano 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making Creative Changes

News print poetry, a term I invented (at least I hope no one else has used it before) is a form of found poetry or blackout poetry.  However, from what I have seen, these type of poems, while borrowing from other written material, usually change the original piece so that the new poem is entirely different.  My poems stick to the topic of the news story, although I may slightly alter the original meaning in sublte ways -- like eliminating the word "not".

Sometimes the reporters make it easy for me with great imagery like "mechanical sharks swim their final laps" in the poem "The End of the Line" or great alliteration like, "a series of splashes and several sneaky shark attacks," from the same poem.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting Started

The idea of news print poetry is to transform one newspaper article a day from the Orlando Sentinel (the local newspaper in Orlando, Florida) into a poem. I call it "found poetry". The title of the poem must come from the headline. The words of the poem must be taken from the article, but they must stay in their original order. No words can be added.

It's not as easy as it sounds. My first thought is that I would compose poems about major news stories from the front page. It turns out that these stories are often just too bland and souless to turn into a poem. I'm still trying to use the major stories, but often the inside pages have a quirky story that makes a far better poem.

So far the work is going well; so well that on some days I do two or three stories. I hope I will have the time to continue to do at least one a day. 

It's a lot of fun.  I wake up in the morning and I can't wait to tear into the newspaper.

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