I must say, what I find most exciting about Oulipost is the challenge. I love the concept of found poetry, believing that poetry is everywhere if we only take the time to pay attention. For years I have sent out a poem a day to all my friends, family, and co-workers during the month of April. This will be an exciting addition to that practice. That said, it is also challenging to think that now that I’ve committed to this project, I have to stay committed and keep it fun, not stressful.
I have written found poetry before. I often use it as a way of making sense of my notes or sharing the essence of an experience. When I teach poetry classes, found poetry is a tremendous way in. I scatter dozens of poetry books around the room, have students copy down any lines, words or phrases that resonate with them, and construct a poem from their lists. It’s like magic watching participants transform into poets right before my eyes!
For the month of April, I will be using my local newspaper, The Contra Costa Times, as my source text. If necessary, I will also search the San Francisco Chronicle for inspiration. And one of the Oulipo movement founders, French mathematician Francois de Lionnais, will serve as my Spirit Oulipian. You may not know this, but my doctoral dissertation was on the power of using poetry to teach math. The use of symbol, rhythm, and pattern are foundational in both disciplines – understanding poetry can help us to see the beauty in mathematics, and vice versa.
Follow me…I’m ready to begin! #oulipost