Write a “Bad” Poem
When you try to be “good” it doesn’t always work, but something fascinating happens when you try to be “bad.”
The first poem I wrote that went into my first published chapbook started out as a joke. It was the mid-2000s, back when poets had blogs, and many poets I knew were doing “NaPoWriMo,” or National Poetry Writing Month. The challenge was to write a new poem every day during the month of April and post all these poems on your blog.
Elisa Gabbert is the author of six collections of poetry, essays, and criticism, most recently Normal Distance (Soft Skull, 2022) and The Unreality of Memory & Other Essays (FSG, 2020), a New York Times Editors' Pick and finalist for the Colorado Book Award. She writes the On Poetry column for the New York Times, and her work has appeared recently in Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and The Believer.
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