Cover Photo: This is an image of a trash can full of crumpled up paper that is turned on its side with the paper spilling out. The trash can is against a peach background.
Art by Eliza Harris via Canva

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.



Normal Distance

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.