April 12, 2016

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Announcing: Author Amok's 2015 Poetry Project

Happy New Year, Poetry Friday friends and readers!

This week's host is my dear friend, Tabatha,
at The Opposite of Indifference.
Stop by to join the poetry party.

Our first week back to school has been filled with snow, ice, delayed openings, a day off, semester exams, and single digit temperatures. Forget the nice, warm blanket. What I really want to snuggle up with is a routine.

If the winter doldrums and disruptions are affecting your writing time, let's get back on track together.

Every February, Author Amok is home to a daily writing prompt project.

In 2013, I wrote in response to vintage postcards.
In 2014, thirteen other authors joined me in writing poems and short prose reactions to Pantone paint colors. We wrote 115 original poems during the month of February.

Since we've written in response to visual prompts for the past two years ... cue drumroll...

The 2015 Poetry Project is
writing in response to sounds.

I hope to post links to the 28 sounds, selected from a variety of online sound archives, by January 25. My main sources for the sounds will be:

I need your help!

Between now and January 25, I have to come up with 28 prompt-worthy, writing-inspiring sounds for the project. I'm taking suggestions. If there is a sound clip you think would be perfect for this project, please post a link in the comments.

Here's an example -- from the Poetry Postcard project -- of how a sound clip can help inspire a poem or short prose piece.


Thrush Lane (Postcard 18)
by Laura Shovan

That thump
on our glass door –
a thrush. It let me
scoop it whole
into my palm,
stroke its
dappled breast,
make it calm.
I spoke to it
of taverns
the Drosselgasse
with song.
The thrush replied,
oh-lay oh-lee,
to the quiet

And here are is a little Martian sound poem to get you thinking:

There Is Absolutely Nothing Lonelier
by Matthew Rohrer

There is absolutely nothing lonelier
than the little Mars rover
never shutting down, digging up
rocks, so far away from Bond street
in a light rain. I wonder
if he makes little beeps?

You can listen to the sounds of the Mars Rover's 13-mile journey is this time lapse video from

I can't wait to hear your prompt suggestions. Here's one I like: Angel Chimes.


Tabatha said...

I love how inventive you are! Would any of these help?
We should schedule our annual b'day luncheon!

Regina Sokas said...

This may not be quite what you are looking for because much of it is people talking. It is people from the Jewish Guild for the Blind naming their favorite sounds. Done by Tony Schwartz and in the Library of Commerce now.

Regina Sokas said...

I meant Library of Congress.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Tabatha and Regina. I will check those out.

Sally Murphy said...

I love the idea of writing in response to a sound prompt rather than a visual once, since I'm always aware of the need to move beyond just visual descriptors, to the other senses.

Amy LV said...

Your thrush poem is so lovely - thank you for sharing it, Laura. I love it! And what a cool project. My suggestion of where to find some sounds is at npr lost and found sounds -
I look forward to this...Happy New Year!
x, a.

Irene Latham said...

Sounds like a great project, Laura! I'll be listening... xo

Author Amok said...

I'm so glad you are all as enthusiastic about this year's project as I am. Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I will research them as I'm putting together the list of 28 prompts.

Renee LaTulippe said...

I love this idea! I have listened to hundreds of sound effects for theater purposes, and I'd often click through just for the fun of it. I will root around in my files for inspiration and see if I can find a link or two!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

How exciting! I love your Thrush poem. Here's some NASA Voyager space sounds: Some of them are pretty freaky. Listen all the way through, the last one is the freakiest of all and surprising as well. Peter, my astronomer hubby, is also looking for a really cool file of star music he has. I think he would have to attach it to a web page, though, to allow people to access it via your blog. Working on it...

Margaret Simon said...

I love your month of writing! Sounds are so inspiring and intriguing. My favorite line from Naomi Shihab Nye is in A Maze Me, "I want to be someone who makes music with my coming."
Let's make some music!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Glorious idea! And of course Tabatha already has leads for you... ;0)
I agree - the thrush poem is beautiful, and I can't wait to see what is conjured up over here in February! (& will keep my eyes and ears open....)

Mary Lee said...

I can't wait to join you in February!

A great resource for sounds is Wikimedia Commons:

At the top, click on "sounds." Turn down the arrows in the subcategories.

Tara said...

Oh, I do love this poem, Laura. I was thinking of the wikimedia site as a source for sound clips, too.

Linda B said...

Wikimedia has been helpful for sounds for my students for a while, Laura. What a marvelous idea. I hope I can find time to contribute some. Your ideas always inspire.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

As a radio production guy, this is very intriguing to me! I have a number of sound files that might be useable. And of course, there's always this:

Carol said...

A really interesting idea! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Bridget Magee said...

Very interesting idea for a prompt. I've written poems based on sound when I've been out and about, but never actively seeking out sound clips. So clever! =)

Doraine said...

I can't wait to listen in! "Sounds" like a wonderful project.

Buffy Silverman said...

Terrific idea, Laura. We used to live near a marsh where woodcocks courted--their wings make a twittering sound when they fly up in their spirals, and on the ground they make a weird beeping sound. That might be a fun sound (and you can probably get it at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

Catherine said...

What an intriguing idea! The angel chimes already have me thinking!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

This is a great idea, of course--and yes, sounds, but WHAT ABOUT MUSIC? I'd be very inclined to include a few heart-grabbing, bum-shaking riffs from the classical greats to the rock n roll standards. Here are a few:

and if you like this idea I'll seek out a few more. : )

And yes--birthday lunch!

Keri said...

I'm very excited about your project -- I've watched from afar for too long and need to jump in this year. It's exciting how you are already rallying our community to the cause. Thanks for making me eager for February!

GatheringBooks said...

The last poem reminded me a bit of Pablo Neruda's Book of Questions. :)
"Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?"
Hope you get your groove back - sending you sunshine and sparkles from eternally-bright Singapore.