Prompts

Collage in Poetry . . . Prompt #529

I would like to share collage in writing with you, some things I learned from the poet Dave Seter.

His poem, “Fargo Airport, Waiting in a Bar” in The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is an example of using collage in poetry. The lines in italics in his poem are from signs on the wall and on the label on a bottle. He seamlessly incorporates “lines from others” into his poetry.

Look around you . . . what writing do you see that you can use in your writing?

Perhaps: A book title, a greeting card, writing on décor, writing on a tissue box, or a piece of mail.

Or: A note you have written, writing on a coffee mug, a sign on a wall.

A label on a jar, a can, or a bottle.

You can also use song lyrics as a jumping off point for your writing.

Writing Prompt: Today . . . or . . . Yesterday

Incorporate written words that you see into your writing.

A stanza from “Fargo Airport, Waiting in a Bar” by Dave Seter:

Waiting for a funeral, it seems the years collapse

into one moment. I want to find

the right thing to say to firemen and farmers,

who are kind, as they offer from

A Bucket of Beer Nine Dollars.

Dave Seter is the author of  Night Duty,  and Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences, a poetry collection due out from Cherry Grove Collections in 2021. A civil engineer and poet, he writes about social and environmental issues, including the intersection of the built world and the natural world.

Born in Chicago, he now lives in Sonoma County, California. He earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Princeton University and his graduate degree in humanities from Dominican University of California, where he studied ecopoetics.

Dave wrote his master’s thesis, “Introducing Godzilla to Marianne Moore’s Octopus of Ice at the Intersection of Global Warming, Environmental Philosophy, and Poetry,” based on Marianne Moore’s collage poem, “An Octopus (of ice).”

 “This paper explores the question: How can a poet write an ecologically aware poem about global warming?”

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