Posted in OULipost

Ouliposting April

I thought that I’d take on a challenge in April.  Then I found, through the modpo group group on Facebook,  the oulipost challenge.  This will involve the creation of a poem a day throughout April, utilising a prompt given to me by utilising the rules of the Oulipo group. Wikipedia describes this group in the following manner;

Oulipo (French pronunciation: ​[ulipo], short for FrenchOuvroir de littérature potentielle; roughly translated: “workshop of potential literature”) is a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians which seeks to create works usingconstrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Other notable members have included novelistsGeorges Perec and Italo Calvino, poets Oskar PastiorJean Lescure and poet/mathematician Jacques Roubaud.

The group defines the term littérature potentielle as (rough translation): “the seeking of new structures and patterns which may be used by writers in any way they enjoy.”

Constraints are used as a means of triggering ideas and inspiration, most notably Perec’s “story-making machine”, which he used in the construction of Life A User’s Manual. As well as established techniques, such as lipograms (Perec’s novel A Void) andpalindromes, the group devises new techniques, often based on mathematical problems, such as the knight’s tour of the chess-board and permutations.

Here’s my first assignment, explaining why I am doing this.

Why I am doing this and what excites me about it?

I always loved poetry.  As a teenager, I read and wrote a lot of it.  Then college came, I found other things to do and I stopped.  Them I left college and found myself at a lose end.  To keep my brain working I started a few Coursera courses.  I found Modpo and rediscovered my love of poetry.  I became interested in experimental, reused, contextual poetry.  I discovered poets who worked within constraints, such  s only using  the letter E in their poems, and playing with the words of others to form poetry.  The idea fascinated me.  So, when this challenge came along , I couldn’t resist.  I hope it will get me writing again.

What scares you?

The concept of writing and producing work every day.  The concept of trying something new in public. The concept of creating and not reviewing.  I can’t hide behind a book now,  This has to be me on display.  Thats  scary.  But that’s what my favourite authors do every day,  So, here I go.

How much experience have you had?

Of traditional poetry, I would say that I am about average.  Of this type of poetry, I am a novice.  So, stay with me. We may be in for a bumpy ride. But, it should be fun.