Poet, editor, scholar, and musician Tony Trigilio, whose new collection is Proof Something Happened, winner of the 2020 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize.

This week’s Write the Book Prompt was generously suggested by my guest, Tony Trigilio. This prompt is adapted from John Daido Loori's The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life. Sit with an object/memory/experience until it begins to reveal itself to you -- its details, contours, emotions, and so on. Be open to the possibility that you might need to sit for a long time. As you get more comfortable with the object's familiar contours, the odd, strange, subtle, mysterious, and absurd (and equally-as-real) aspects of this object of your mind will reveal themselves. Express these in a poem - any form, shape, structure, tone, or pitch. You are writing about "what else" the object is, and likely also writing about "what it is not." Like a painter working with negative space, this approach can help you discover the fullest sense of your subject matter.

Good luck with your work in the coming week, and tune in next week for another prompt or suggestion.


Music Credit: Aaron Shapiro


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