April 12, 2016

Friday, January 31, 2014

Author Amok's 2014 Poetry Project

Hey, Writerly Friends. Tomorrow is February 1. You know what that means? Birthday month!

My birthday buddy.

Last year -- in order to celebrate the big day, practice writing, and give something back to others all in one go -- I did a big poetry project. I bought a stack of vintage postcards. Every day from January 1 until my birthday, February 22, I wrote a poem in response to a random card.

You'll find a list of all of the poems and posts here.

Friends like Teacher Dance blogger Linda Baie were good enough to send me spare postcards. I went to see an antique postcard exhibit in Boston. We had guest bloggers. Each postcard and poem went out to a Writerly Friend.

It was a blast. And now I have an enormous collection of postcards to use and share as writing prompts.

The postcards took me out of my poetic box -- stretching me to write about subjects I wouldn't have spent time on, or even thought of, without a prompt.

So, what's up for this year?

It's been such a gray, cold winter. We need a spark of something colorful.

Amethyst is February's birthstone.
It's also a 
Pantone® color name.
Have you ever walked into the home improvement store and felt the magnetic pull of the paint cards drawing you, like some DIY Bali Hai, to its radiant shores?

As you pulled lemony yellows, juicy oranges, and gloomy grays from the display, were you as thrilled by the names of the colors as you were by the colors themselves? ME TOO!

I now declare this year's birthday extravaganza The Pantone® Poetry Project.

Pantone® is a trademarked color system. You can read the company's history at Wikipedia. Or visit the Pantone® website to learn about their color of the year, Radiant Orchid.

Every Friday throughout February, I will post a sampling of Pantone® colors with their names. You are invited to write in response to the color (see suggested writing prompts below).

Anything Goes: a snippet, a couplet, some free verse, a sonnet, a prose poem, flash, whatever may dash through your Writerly brain.

Leave your contribution(s) in the comments -- with the color you are writing in response to. Or send it to me via email at (all one word) "mrs poems at gmail dot" etc. Prefer to post your Pantone response at your own blog? Great! Send me the link and I'll be sure to include it.

I'll post our rainbow of samples every day in February, or at least several times a week.

I've got my handy dandy Pantone® Artist and Writer's Notebook ready for sketching.

Pantone Artist and Writer’s Notebook
Find it at Chronicle Books
Ready? Here are the first week's colors:

Week 1 Colors
Apricot Illusion
Peyote, Dark Earth, Cosmic Sky
Monument, Purple Reign
Hushed Violet, Demitasse
Zinc, Bronze Mist, Aloe
Kombu Green, Sugar Coral


Apricot Illusion
® 14-1120
Sugar Coral
® 16-1640

How do you find your way in to a color?

Here are some prompts to try:

  • Color response: a memory, object, image, or something else.
  • Language response: a memory, object, image, or something else.
  • Sensory response: What does this color smell, taste, or sound like to you?
  • Build a room: Imagine you are in a room painted this color. Describe where you are, how you feel, and what you see.
  • Wear it: Imagine you are putting on an article of clothing in this color. What happens when you walk out your front door?

Thanks in advance for playing along. Remember to share what you come up with in the comments or via email. See you over the rainbow!

Here's some Aloe to soothe you.


Patricia said...

I'll play.

Patricia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Author Amok said...

Great, Patricia! I can always count on you when there's an adventure to be had.

Diane Mayr said...

I love this idea, Laura! I'll write down the colors to keep by my computer and we'll see if anything comes of it.

Author Amok said...

Hooray, Diane! I must say, I love the idea of imagining yourself surrounded by walls painted in a particular color. I'm glad you're joining us in the "Jazzy" room.

Jane Elkin said...

Aloe, jeans I had to return.
You looked like pearl on the screen.
So much for shopping online
Where colors are not what they seem.

Margaret Simon said...

I went to a writing workshop once in which the presenter dropped color swatches on the table. Each one had a word on it, so the prompt was both a color and a word. Ever since then, I've been meaning to start a collection. Now this prompt makes me want to run out to the paint store.
I've played in my journal with three of the color words. May do a little more revising and will send to you.

Linda B said...

I've been playing, writing and forgot to comment, Laura. Oops! This will be fun! Clever to send some color to everyone!

Author Amok said...

They must be from the same store where I got my mustard yellow cords.

Author Amok said...

Great connection, Margaret. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Linda. Yes -- we all need some color and some fun.

Tabatha said...

Fun idea, Laura! That Sugar Coral looks very inviting. It seems like it would be fun to be the person who names the colors. (They might want to reconsider calling that color "Aloe" though.)

Author Amok said...

Tabatha, I agree. Real aloe plants are a much more vibrant green. Pantone's aloe looks like it's been through the juicer.

Catherine said...

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

Renee LaTulippe said...

This is the best project ever. Happy birthday month!

Heidi said...

How did I miss this? As I write I am drinking my coffee from Pantone color mug 3272C, which I would describe as Mediterranean Green but which Pantone calls (unusually simply) Turquoise. As a connoisseur of turquoise I differ. In any case, a person who selects her mug based on what room she's going to drink from it in, I'll certainly join you in this project. My captcha is "from webyga"...from web Y gat so much!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

How wonderful that you turn your entire birthday month (which happens to be my birthday too... even better!) into a celebration of poetry. This is a totally fab idea. I will do my bestest to take part!

Unknown said...

Laura, here is mine for the moment. I had only to substitute one word to bring it within the Pantone parameter:


First, the black, like meal
sifted through the fingers.
Night, where now you are.

Then the orange
smeared on your cheeks.
Forever may the sun be.

Finally, the red
to pool at the base of the pit
as if you had not died
but miscarried
and life was but an interrupted dream.


Michael C. Davis
600 Roosevelt Blvd Apt. 108
Falls Church, VA 22044