Contest: #InfWin Meets #NaPoMo

 April marks not only the winding down of Infinite Winter, but also National Poetry Writing Month (abbreviated as NaPoWriMo, or NaPoMo for short). This month, writers around the country are challenging themselves to write 30 poems in 30 days, leveraging prompts like those we’re providing over at The Found Poetry Review for inspiration.

This week, I’m using my post to issue you a challenge: create a piece of found poetry sourced from or inspired by this week’s  Infinite Jest reading. Found poetry is the art of excerpting language from a source text and remixing it or transforming it to craft something new. Read more about found poetry.

Post your work (or a link to it) here in the comments section – I’ll choose my favorite piece out of those shared and send the author a signed Erasing Infinite print.


The inspiration for your piece of found poetry should come from this past week’s reading – pages 833-907. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Choose a character featured prominently in this section – for example, Gately, Hal or even the wraith. Compose a beau presente (or beautiful inlaw) poem for one of these characters using only words that can be made from the letters in his or her name. For instance, if composing a poem for “Don Gately,” you could use the words atoned, tangled, alone, daylong, delay notedly, only and alone. You can use tools like WordSolver or Litscape to generate a list of possible words from a character’s name.
  • Pick a letter of the alphabet and write down all of the words in this section starting with that letter. Compose a poem – known as a tautogram – from the words you’ve copied down.
  • Compose a prisoner’s constraint – a poem which forbids the use of letters with ascenders (b,d,f,h,k,l,t) and descenders (g,j,p,q,y) – in empathy with Gately’s and Hal’s struggles to communicate. Pull out words from the text containing only the following letters to craft your poem: a,c,e,i,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x,z.
  • Select a series of twenty pages to focus on. Read through the text and copy down the first three words of every sentence. When you’ve finished, use what you’ve written as your word bank for crafting your poem.
  • Photocopy one or more pages from this week’s readings and make a visual collage incorporating the words and images from this section.

Post your completed work in the comments section below by Sunday, May 1, to be eligible to receive the print.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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2 thoughts on “Contest: #InfWin Meets #NaPoMo”

  1. – Remixed Poetry Found in Jest –

    cool air through the room’s vent whispered [655]

    Crows in trees [556]
    gulls asleep [769]

    A hidden bird twittered [529]
    the tentative chirp of a bird [1042]
    Several species of birds were twittering [122]
    and birds had plenty to say [974]

    Come in from the spectral rain [189]
    make a splatter-painting on the wall [138]
    Thunder and lightning at the same time [387]
    What a beautiful day for an Eschaton* [331]

    dilute light of lume and low stars [321]
    the same sun over all of the planet [655]
    the stars shine through people’s heads [617]
    Some of the stars seem to flutter [422]

    a faint odor of Magic Marker [755]
    the olfactory equivalent of fluorescent light [526]
    the snick of a million urban lighters [556]
    somebody starts blowing their horn [578]

    All was calm. All was bright. [646]
    heavy snow had begun to fall [851]
    a white curtain endlessly descending [865]
    that glittery sound of total silence [798]

    The window exploded with light [980]
    a mosaic of oil rainbows [769]
    colors themselves could catch fire [980]
    this took place in less than a second [871]

    The river at dawn is a strip of foil’s dull side [452]

    * No clue [1036]

  2. The map
    is not the territory.
    The nation
    is not infinite. Yet,
    to create an apple,
    first create a universe.

    Rules inform,
    truth plays,
    gods observe,
    but without action:
    a scoreless tie.

    Afraid of losing my legs
    to poor circulation,
    the tourniquet,
    or the train tracks,
    and having nothing
    for which to die,
    I find the far court
    away from the main building
    and study the lines,
    and approach the net,
    and dash back and lob
    at the coin on the back line,
    at the on/off switch
    of exponential entertainments,
    at the gentle crooners–
    no longer counting pages
    or shaking my numb arm,
    muted by the no-sound
    of falling snow
    on the map.

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