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Spring cleaning, Two Questions for you

March 20, 2013

Spring cleaning, and we have
TWO Questions for you
We Write Poems:
Spring is beginning to raise its head and we’re thinking about things that change!  Maybe (probably) (well, yes) a new look for the We Write Poems blog, but also some other things.  We invite your response and comments here.

First question.  Would you prefer to have a single prompt-and-response posting OR two separate postings, one for the prompt and a week later a second posting for the poem responses (as we do right now)?

A single prompt-and-response is more simple and direct, means you can post your poem link as soon as you want instead of waiting a week. However thus far we’ve done it the second way so that everyone gets a more equal opportunity for their poems to be read. We think that’s nice, but yes, it’s not written in stone. If you’re willing to check for other writers poem links after a week (because some people write more slowly or some prompts take more time to consider) then that’s fine. Tell us your preference here.

Second question.  What else might you like to see (that also means do) on We Write Poems?

Any special kinds of prompts (like whatever we don’t much do)? What other kinds of postings (anything)? Like reviews of favorite poets, book reports (not like in school, but fun), more folks from the community doing prompts (like that might include you too!). Or (your own answer goes here).

OK, your turn to say what you’d like.

  1. March 20, 2013 5:33 am

    First question. – single prompt-and-response posting still means we still got all week to post, doesn’t it?

    Second question – More critical discussion of a poem maybe. Pick a poem and let’s all discuss it.

    Now time for more cheese!

    • March 20, 2013 7:13 am

      Yes Irene, respond any time during that entire week (or anytime). However the next prompt would be kind of a bookend when interest would move on to the next poem prompt naturally. THAT next prompt day would be rather a good time to review whatever responses there are to the prior prompt.
      Thanks for asking.

  2. March 20, 2013 12:50 pm

    As the reason WWP is my favourite prompt site is that you give us a week to respond. Most of my poems are written and posted willy nilly to meet prompt deadlines, and so often I have to go back and edit.

    The one feature I would love to see is a Mister Linky for linking our poems. This keeps the Linky list open while reading others’ submissions, enabling us to go straight back to find the next link to read, without all that stop and start and back and forth because I lose the place.

    Don’t change too much! I am passionately in favour of all that you do.

    • March 20, 2013 5:55 pm

      Wow, that’s wonderful to hear, Viv. The passion I mean. Change, when it comes, will be like a breath of fresh air. I really see discussing poems as a way to engage our critical faculties. We could go to or and choose a poem for discussion. Notice what makes a good poem good. Why it stands the test of time and rewards rereading. It’s like building a vocabulary of poems that is part of our writing life. So how about a Discuss a Poem Day! Maybe if we could each select a poem, we will have a list of poems we want to discuss and remember.

    • March 21, 2013 7:43 pm

      I second Viv’s idea of having a Linky. I find this business of posting links in comments to be cumbersome and, well, annoying. (Said, of course, with grace and wit!)

    • March 25, 2013 6:32 pm

      Thank you Viv. Your passion is much much appreciated and encouraging.

      I do mostly agree with you about the prompt-and-response cycle. I like to allow time to gestate a poem myself. However neither do I want to fence people out because they’re faster than me. Maybe there’s a simple solution.

      Mister Linky or the like I’ll comment on later. I do however have a simple bit of code for you that removes the back and forth issue. It is what I do for all my own comments already. (and it’s easy!) More later.

  3. March 21, 2013 3:51 am

    Permitting responses right away seems like a plus to me. There aren’t so many of us that we need a limiter to stop people from posting more than one reaction to a prompt. No reason you can’t still wait to respond if you like to mull. Or answer right away, and follow later in the week with another thought on the subject. You do get ideas from others’ views on a prompt.

    As things stand now, I tend to set the prompts here off to the side. Maybe I’ll get back to them before the deadline, maybe not.

    I like Irene’s idea of discussion. Probably should be at least loosely moderated. Not so much to control things as to keep things rolling. Kind of depressing not to have your thoughts responded to.

    Viv, can’t you “open link in new tab/window” to avoid the back and forth thing? I like the linky for sites with masses of response links, but it does discourage on-site chit-chat. Seems like it distances people.

    • March 21, 2013 6:18 am

      Thanks Barbara. I’d say, whoever tossed a poem for discussion leads the discussion–why do you like the poem? What’s so great about it? That takes the pressure off a single moderator. And Jules, while not everyone is into dissecting or engaging in critical thought, there’re others who are more drawn to a critical discussion of a poem than in actually writing a poem. So we please both needs–the need to write and the need to discuss, with a view to learning, actually. We don’t really know how few will participate but it really only takes two and we’d have made a stab at discussing what grabs you in that poem. And hopefully learn something. We start small. We are small.

    • March 25, 2013 6:39 pm

      Thank you Barbara. Your comments about timing I take to heart. I want WWP to be response to different needs and desires of writers here. I value your poetic contributions and wanna make the door here swing easily for you. Later I have a combined solution I hope.

      Thanks too your comment about Irene’s suggestion.

      And yea, your comment to Viv is as simple as it gets, but I’ll also have another method I list later.

  4. March 21, 2013 3:58 am

    I like the link idea, but I like the Inlinkz system found on this site:
    While Mr. Linky is OK, I have some issues with it not actually letting you go back and forth. Just saying before you choose a link system, which I think is a good idea – explore the different types first.

    I’m of the belief that ‘if it ain’t broke’ ‘Don’t fix it’. Leave the Wednesday prompt as it is (OK with a minor improvement like a link system). If you want to add an additional day, Say Monday or Friday for discussions then do that, but leave the prompts alone. Not everyone is into dissecting or engaging in critical thought. Not everyone has that kind of time.

    If you want ideas for prompts…Go to your writers sites, see what they are doing and other things they are participating in. Even go back to the very basic how to’s of teaching a concept. But again…don’t change too much, and keep it fun. A serious challenge is OK once in a while, but too many rules and I’m lost. But that’s just me.

    • March 25, 2013 7:00 pm

      Thank you Jules. I checked out the other link system you suggested and agree with your comparison. More later however.

      If I understand your second comment, be assured our weekly prompts will continue. Anything new would be as an addition to those, not a replacement.

      About the nature of our prompts… I and we try to make our prompts both interesting AND challenging in some manner. Personally I value poems not only for their expression but also the learning opportunity they present; that’s essential for me (try or fail as I do! 🙂 ) However hopefully my challenges are more about content rather than forms and “rules” (but please tell me otherwise if that’s what you see). AND see our next prompt – me trying to lighten my prompt writing style!!

      • March 26, 2013 9:00 am

        Yes…I did see that prompt, first at Margo’s too. And It was a bit ‘pickling’ or ‘challenging’ – I don’t always respond to prompts that I am not interested in, and well I don’t have time for everything that is why I like the week long aspect here for the prompts. But it did take me almost the whole week (partly due to other distractions) but I will be posting a reply to The new WWP prompt that I wrote today. Margo has great prompts. But I was also referring to just your participants styling. For example at my small verse site I’m working on a story series of acrostic Elfjes. While that may be a bit tricky…I did also (Margo thinks I may have created) acrosTics which are just the same word of an Acrostic repeated. Doesn’t matter what word, or how many times you repeat it. I do have examples on my Blogspot site.

        Yes I did understand that the ‘new’ stuff would be an addition. And there are people who like to do that – I wish them well. I’m just not up to critiquing or trying to interpret others works. That’s not to say I might not join in if I found something I liked.

  5. March 21, 2013 8:16 am

    I guess I can see the advantages both in leaving it the way it is and going to a single post prompt system.

    The way it is now, I like the fact that we have a week to kind of think and let the prompt germinate…I’m often writing the poem on Tuesday because the prompt can sit in my mind for the weekend and percolate, if you will.

    HOWEVER, I do see an advantage to a single post prompt system. There have been times I’m not online on Wednesdays…being able to post the link to your poem right away does have an advantage.

    I also like the “Mister Linky” idea….it does make it easier to read and then return back to the list of poems to keep on reading.

    Something else I remember from the Read Write Poem Days…I recall that there were mini-workshops or mini-challenges each month. Usually five poems were written, each a result of a different kind of exercise of the same activity or theme. This one from RWP a couple of years ago ( – this was my favorite one of the mini-challenges) is a good example. Maybe this might be a possibility for WWP to consider?


    • March 21, 2013 9:41 pm

      Oh, yes. Things that are more complex than a prompt, but not as exhausting as poem-a-day. Revision strategies, a week with a single form, good stuff.

    • March 25, 2013 7:11 pm

      Well you said it Nicole! There are merits both ways to the prompt cycle. We’ll see if I can stand astride the both of them! Shortly to summarize.

      Link alternative coming too.

      Whole-heartedly agree about your memories of RWP – the mini-challenges were what I waited for more than anything else. Your example is an excellent one. Maybe once a month we can begin doing something of that sort in addition to the regular prompts. Folks can choose to do one or the other or both.

      Thanks much Nicole!

  6. March 21, 2013 9:04 am

    Thank you thank you everyone. Your comments do add some clarity for me, including sometimes by shaking a stick in the mud. More to think about. And… more feedback is certainly welcome. I’m kind of taking April as the time to make some choices about all of this. Also that’s when we’ll be trying out a new blog theme, something more simple, visually less cluttered with things we don’t really use.

    But even then, yes, we can simply “try” some changes, see how we do or don’t care for them.

    First, yes, we’ll still do our weekly prompts of course, the bread and butter stuff. But I’m interested in seeing what special topics/activities we might do, say maybe once a month as a special optional thing. Fitting into all this, me, I work about one and a quarter full-time, so simply my time and energy comes in continual play. And the load for now is only likely to grow for some while. (But then, yea, that’s much just me and my rather slow pace for doing much of anything.)

    Long and short, thank you again. We’ll not be doing anything radically different, but think some playful fine tuning – more like that. I’ll have some more specific thoughts and responses come this weekend time.


  7. March 22, 2013 8:26 pm

    I like the way the prompts are done. You could think about a guest prompter once in a while, but I find these prompts very challenging. Keep it up!

    • March 25, 2013 7:17 pm

      In sequence, thanks, I am thinking about guests (more), and thank you again, very much. 🙂 Your participation here is much appreciated.
      Thank you purplepeninportland.

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