2015 Possibly Annual We’ll See How It Goes Poetry Marathon

Winter brings out the need for a bit of a mental jolt every so often, I think. It’s so easy to wallow in the torpor of lying on the sofa and regretting the last two cookies you just ate (though not the earlier four…).

So to shake things up a bit, that’s why I am getting ready for this undertaking that starts tomorrow. January 26, that’s the day I mean. Read on. Maybe this bit of info will make things more clear…

The Claudia McGill Museum of Things Claudia McGill Picks Up From the Street When She Is Just Going Along Being Claudia McGill and Doing Claudia McGill Things
the Sunshine Project
are pleased to announce their joint sponsorship of this cultural offering:

The 2015 Possibly Annual We’ll See How It Goes Poetry Marathon

The event kicks off tomorrow, January 26, with Claudia McGill as organizer, facilitator, and sole participant. The Marathon is based on the idea of writing poetry without looking back – in the same way a person runs a long race, Claudia McGill is going to write poetry. For five days. Moving from location to location. With just her wits and determination to keep her going.

The concept is deceptively simple. Sit down and write poetry of any kind for two hours straight (allowing of course for rest stops as necessary, but the time will be added back). Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.

Can she do it? What kind of results will she come up with? How will her fingers hold up with all the typing? What will she do to maintain her cheerful demeanor while racking her brain for that next idea? Follow this space for the answers to these questions – and others – the week of January 26-30.

More info about the Claudia McGill Museum etc.

More info about the Sunshine Project


Yes, indeedy, I’ve got a plan for this whole week. It all started when I saw something on this blog, Some Bad Plankton, that really appealed to me: writing 10 poems in 20 minutes. I thought the poems I read there were just great, and I loved their freshness. I wondered if I could do the same thing. So I tried it. Usually my session was more like 10 poems in 30 minutes, but close enough. The process is entrancing.

I like the feeling of writing without editing myself, or rather, editing myself as I am thinking. Anticipating the next footstep without falling down on the current one. Each line needs to fit into the structure and with the other lines that are yet to come, lines that I don’t even know what they are, just what they might be.

I have a whole collection of poems done in this way. I guess they’ll get their turn on the blog sometime soon. And then of course there is the prospect of whatever I come up with during the Marathon. I certainly think it’s a great way to make sure I have a good thick fat volume of Complete Works when the need arises for college students to study me, or for book groups to exclaim over. Don’t you think?

Here’s what’s going to happen, according to the Marathon brochure:

1. Go to a location other than sitting at home to do this writing. (I may have to amend this a bit as it is threatening snow for tomorrow, but that’s the plan).
2. Write the whole 2 hours. Keep going. Don’t edit. Don’t look back.
3. At the end of the week, put all the poems away and let them sit for a week.
4. After a week, look over the poems. Divide them into:
— great
— with a bit of work (meaning 5 minutes or less) can be good
— awful and put into the pile to be cannibalized for other, better poems later
— hopeless – throw out
5. Spend a little time to edit, sticking with the 5 minutes idea. This should take about a week, doing it here and there. I think.
6. The end. Now there are more poems in the world that I have written, and I had a good time doing it.

Seriously, I like the idea of devoting myself to a week of poetry. It’s not something I can often do. But this week will be a lot of fun, I think. I will let you know my progress!

One of these people is Claudia McGill, whether it's winter or not.

One of these people is Claudia McGill, whether it’s winter or not.


22 thoughts on “2015 Possibly Annual We’ll See How It Goes Poetry Marathon

  1. So far so good, after 4 days. I have not run out of ideas yet. Can’t say how good they are, but I’m really enjoying letting them all out at one time. Though it can be tiring. Thinking! the hardest thing on earth!

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