If the GroupMe is The Life of Black Emory, then let’s utilize Black Star Magazine* as the voices of Black Emory. This is our entire mission, as staff, and my personal mission as Editor in Chief. Many may know that I am a poet. When I first arrived on campus I was mic-hot, and your girl was at every open mic. I was introducing myself. How else could I do it except through the thing that defines me? At Free-Thought Open Mics, Lyrical Justice, Marshall’s Crayton’s Open Mics, Agnes Scott Open Mics, and many, many, more; I always encountered Emory students who told me they used to write but haven’t in a while. Students said school has been so consuming its swallowed their creativity. Often, they explore their writing through assignments (when given) and they find that the same interest and capability. Yes, I am a whole Creative Writing Major, but the thing that I used to define myself hasn’t seen me in a while: poetry.
I haven’t written a performance piece in a minute. That concerns me. While I am shelling out research papers, plays, and formal poems – I carry a suite of performance pieces that I’ve yet to give voice. I am a poet, a performance poet. Yes, there is a difference – it is in the delivery. So, there is a whole artistic self I’ve neglected for months because of academia and the pressure to keep striving. So, I hear y’all when you say you don’t have time to write. Well, let’s make time. For the month of November, Black Star Magazine* is going to be celebrating NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. It was originally started as a challenge to write a book in a month. No one is going to write any good book in a month. But the most important aspect of the challenge is the 30/30 aspect, writing every day for thirty days. In an effort to promote our mission to engage with black voices daily, we will be posting prompts on our website every day for the month of November. These prompts will merely be starters meant to get you to share your voice.
Through poetry, fiction, a speech, or a journal entry, the goal of this project/ challenge is to WRITE. Write what you want to. We’re out here shelling out research paper after research paper, and yet we still struggle to define ourselves through what we write. If you’re a poet and you haven’t written poetry since high school, or in a significant minute – join us in NaNoWriMo. Or if you’re a music artist and you rap but the verses just aren’t flowing recently – join us in NaNoWriMo. Or if your twitter fingers need more than 140 characters – join us in NaNoWriMo. Create and take advantage of the space to have meaningful conversations with you. We want to encourage expression to come in its truest from. So, if we post a poem and ask for prose, your prose-poem will be okay. If we post something and ask for “thoughts?” interpret it accordingly. If we post a story and ask for short fiction, your personal essay will be ok. The point is not the rules. The point is the work created. The prompts are simply prompts. We want you to produce substantial work that gets you into your voice.
Yes, this is NaNoWriMo project, but if it makes you feel better, then just consider this a 30/30 challenge. For thirty days, we want to create with you. We want to open up our writing process with you. The challenge is to write a piece every day for thirty days (it’s harder than it sounds, but worth it). We’ll all do it together. During this month, allow yourself to be unapologetic in your pursuit of voice. Post photos of books, poems, lines that you’re taking in during this time to your social media. Check out material from the EBSU’s Bookcase. Write down everything that you’d usually store in the ‘Notes’ section on your iPhone in a journal. Share lines, sections, or pieces that you're proud of in the comments of the prompt for that day. Allow yourself to be invested in this and see where you are at the end of this month. We look forward to conjuring voice with you.
Look out for the prompts we post each day.
In Light & Love,
Christell Victoria Roach
Here comes the plug!:
How do you define yourself? Write a Definition piece. This can be writing in your native language. Writing in the perspective of a younger or future you, or even writing about something that defines you like dance, or art, or song.
"Silence will not save you." -Vandana Shiva
Write a series of haiku as a reconnaissance mission to navigate the silencing of black folk going on around our nation. For more of challenge write seven haiku: each working through states we know as the "7 stages of grief." Grief is Blues. The Blues is joy and pain. Take it and run!
“If joy and pain are like sunshine and rain, then the Blues must be sun-showers.”
—Christell Victoria Roach
There is so much happening daily where we constantly have to check people for not coming correct. Recently, a disgusting and quite pathetic girl at the University of Hartford racially terrorized a student. Said girl was white. The student was Black. The roommate did so much damage to the other student, that the girl was physically sickened: by the roommate’s tampons, her anus, her expired food, and the roommates spit.
This leads to our prompt today, asking you to write a persona piece: Write a persona poem, prose, or a journal entry in the point of view of a character. Peep this page for some further direction: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn…/glossary-term/persona.
*We are not trying to humanize the white girl. Not at all. It’s disgusting, and frankly, racist. However, it is interesting to try to see how someone could be so sick, so sadistic. There are so many characters out there. It’s one thing to think someone crazy, and it’s another to witness the absurdity of an individual. Don’t write about that nasty white girl. Write about something else. You can even write about a classmate. Or a Black Trump supporter. Try to chart their emotional and thought processing. I’m sure it may make you laugh, even angry. But try it. You may get a satiric performance piece, or something filled with wit.
Automatic Writing: Write a piece for yourself. Shameless self-love is a practice. Create space to recognize how you feel, what you're doing, and where you're going.
Write a piece about love, to or about yourself.
Write a piece about a trivial, obscure or not very well known fact or bit of history.
Write a piece about Transformations or what it means to transform.
“The moon lives in the lining of your skin.”
— Pablo Neruda
Auto-write a piece for 7 minutes off of this quote, then share with a friend.
Name That Wind. There are names for each bluster, gust, and breeze that blows through nearly every corner of the world. Capture the wind, name it and write a poem.
Write a poem that uses some aspect of modern media: texting, smart phone or computer applications, social media sites such as Twitter, tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, etc
Cultural proverb. Write a piece that uses, incorporates, is based on or is somehow related to a proverb that comes from your culture or a culture that you identify with. Example: An Irish proverb is "A good start is half the work." You can use something like that as a title, first line, subject or theme of a piece.
Write a piece about a quality that is considered a virtue, such as patience.
Choose an organ from your body. Do not name the organ. Instead, allow the organ to describe how it feels living inside your body. This is an awareness excercise
Write a “carpe diem” piece. Carpe diem is a Latin expression that means “seize the day.” Carpe diem poems have a theme of living for today.
Write a piece about something that is visible but unseen.
Wanna try a poetic form? Liked the Poem from today's Newsletter? Try:
a “Golden Shovel” poem. This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem "The Golden Shovel." The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem "We Real Cool." You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! (In fact, you can do so twice, because Hayes, being ultra-ambitious, wrote a two-part golden shovel, repeating Brooks’ poem). Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize.
Alternate Prompt 11/16
Break the rules piece. Break any kind of accepted rule of poetry in your poem, or write about breaking a rule.
Write a poem about mental fatigue.
Oracle poem. Go here: http://bibliomancyoracle.tumblr.com/askoracle. Click the green button. Use whatever the oracle gives you to start your poem. Don’t forget to use an attribution (credit the author of the original quote).
Write a Post-Apocalyptic (after end-of-world) piece