As a librarian who has worked with historic collections, dust has been a feature in my working life and finds its way into my poems quite regularly.
I’ve never seen anything quite as dramatic or sudden as this, though - building work in the basement of UCL’s Grant Museum threw up clouds of plaster dust at the beginning of the month.
Marcel Duchamp was also inspired by dust and its strange qualities. Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding shows part of Duchamp’s process in making his Large Glass - dust was allowed to lie on the glass for over a year, before Duchamp wiped it mostly clean, but fixed some to the cones that formed part of the work.
And ultimately, of course, dust is composed of little bits of us - of our dead skin cells, hair, other dry detritus - a little, though not exactly, like the tumble dryer lint in Gabriel Orozco’s Lintels.
For tomorrow’s prompt, either write a poem incorporating dust of some kind, or incorporating something random that features in your daily professional life.
Image: Mark Carnall

As a librarian who has worked with historic collections, dust has been a feature in my working life and finds its way into my poems quite regularly.

I’ve never seen anything quite as dramatic or sudden as this, though - building work in the basement of UCL’s Grant Museum threw up clouds of plaster dust at the beginning of the month.

Marcel Duchamp was also inspired by dust and its strange qualities. Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding shows part of Duchamp’s process in making his Large Glass - dust was allowed to lie on the glass for over a year, before Duchamp wiped it mostly clean, but fixed some to the cones that formed part of the work.

And ultimately, of course, dust is composed of little bits of us - of our dead skin cells, hair, other dry detritus - a little, though not exactly, like the tumble dryer lint in Gabriel Orozco’s Lintels.

For tomorrow’s prompt, either write a poem incorporating dust of some kind, or incorporating something random that features in your daily professional life.

Image: Mark Carnall

30/30 prompt: judge a book by its cover

To mark the end of its eightieth anniversary year, Faber is exhibiting items from its archive at the V&A until 30 May.

Today’s prompt is simple: write from a book cover. It could be one from your collection at home, or here are some links:

Faber Archive

Faber Books’ photostream (flickr)

Eighty years of book cover design by Faber & Faber (Guardian.co.uk)

Or, if Faber’s not your thing, here’s the best of 2009’s British covers:

British Book Design & Production Awards 2009 (pdf)

30/30 prompt: dance

User Generated Content (UGC) is becoming more and more important in Libraries, Archives and other cultural organisations.

The Southbank Centre is asking people to upload their “signature dance move” to the Dance Atlas, which is supported by a blog and a map showing the location of different dancers. Already there are some brilliant examples of the serious and less serious kind. Young in the Nineties, I’m particularly fond of the uploaded video of big fish little fish cardboard box.

Dance is probably second only to paintings as the most popular artform represented in poems. Two of my favourites are

Pavlova’s Physics by Jo Shapcott

The Dance by William Carlos Williams

The links take you to the poems on The Poetry Archive, and include recordings of the poets reading their work.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Rita Dove has offered a simple explanation for poets’ interest in dancing: “Poetry is a kind of dance already” ('Poet at the dance: Rita Dove in conversation [with Robert McDowell].' American Poet, Fall 2003).  In the same interview, she describes her own love of dancing and its cultural significance in her life and work.

Today’s prompt is to write about dance - any kind of dance. Use any of the links in this post as a starting point, or Google dance and poetry for more ideas.

The next 30/30 prompt will be tomorrow!

Following Karen McCarthy’s lead, I’m going to post my next 30/30 prompt here tomorrow.

Saturday is my day for prompting participants in the challenge, and as I was working out the prompts to use, I realised that I have more than enough to post two prompts a week - the regular Friday prompt and the 30/30 Saturday ones, all themed, of course, around getting the most out of special collections and book- and archive-related materials.

As an example of this week’s prompt, here is the draft I wrote as part of the 30/30 Poetry Challenge last Saturday. It is part of a longer sequence of love poems between an apewoman and  a birdman.
Esther is posting both the prompts we are using in the 3/30 challenge and her responses to them, including her brief and oblique reaction to Prof. Jones’ portrait, which she has titled ‘Hope’.
Den’s piece, on her blog Brain Candy, is a stream of consciousness on the nature of the self (and the human).
Thanks to Esther and Den for sharing their first drafts so publicly!

As an example of this week’s prompt, here is the draft I wrote as part of the 30/30 Poetry Challenge last Saturday. It is part of a longer sequence of love poems between an apewoman and  a birdman.

Esther is posting both the prompts we are using in the 3/30 challenge and her responses to them, including her brief and oblique reaction to Prof. Jones’ portrait, which she has titled ‘Hope’.

Den’s piece, on her blog Brain Candy, is a stream of consciousness on the nature of the self (and the human).

Thanks to Esther and Den for sharing their first drafts so publicly!

As a librarian who has worked with historic collections, dust has been a feature in my working life and finds its way into my poems quite regularly.
I’ve never seen anything quite as dramatic or sudden as this, though - building work in the basement of UCL’s Grant Museum threw up clouds of plaster dust at the beginning of the month.
Marcel Duchamp was also inspired by dust and its strange qualities. Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding shows part of Duchamp’s process in making his Large Glass - dust was allowed to lie on the glass for over a year, before Duchamp wiped it mostly clean, but fixed some to the cones that formed part of the work.
And ultimately, of course, dust is composed of little bits of us - of our dead skin cells, hair, other dry detritus - a little, though not exactly, like the tumble dryer lint in Gabriel Orozco’s Lintels.
For tomorrow’s prompt, either write a poem incorporating dust of some kind, or incorporating something random that features in your daily professional life.
Image: Mark Carnall

As a librarian who has worked with historic collections, dust has been a feature in my working life and finds its way into my poems quite regularly.

I’ve never seen anything quite as dramatic or sudden as this, though - building work in the basement of UCL’s Grant Museum threw up clouds of plaster dust at the beginning of the month.

Marcel Duchamp was also inspired by dust and its strange qualities. Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding shows part of Duchamp’s process in making his Large Glass - dust was allowed to lie on the glass for over a year, before Duchamp wiped it mostly clean, but fixed some to the cones that formed part of the work.

And ultimately, of course, dust is composed of little bits of us - of our dead skin cells, hair, other dry detritus - a little, though not exactly, like the tumble dryer lint in Gabriel Orozco’s Lintels.

For tomorrow’s prompt, either write a poem incorporating dust of some kind, or incorporating something random that features in your daily professional life.

Image: Mark Carnall

30/30 prompt: judge a book by its cover

To mark the end of its eightieth anniversary year, Faber is exhibiting items from its archive at the V&A until 30 May.

Today’s prompt is simple: write from a book cover. It could be one from your collection at home, or here are some links:

Faber Archive

Faber Books’ photostream (flickr)

Eighty years of book cover design by Faber & Faber (Guardian.co.uk)

Or, if Faber’s not your thing, here’s the best of 2009’s British covers:

British Book Design & Production Awards 2009 (pdf)

30/30 prompt: dance

User Generated Content (UGC) is becoming more and more important in Libraries, Archives and other cultural organisations.

The Southbank Centre is asking people to upload their “signature dance move” to the Dance Atlas, which is supported by a blog and a map showing the location of different dancers. Already there are some brilliant examples of the serious and less serious kind. Young in the Nineties, I’m particularly fond of the uploaded video of big fish little fish cardboard box.

Dance is probably second only to paintings as the most popular artform represented in poems. Two of my favourites are

Pavlova’s Physics by Jo Shapcott

The Dance by William Carlos Williams

The links take you to the poems on The Poetry Archive, and include recordings of the poets reading their work.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Rita Dove has offered a simple explanation for poets’ interest in dancing: “Poetry is a kind of dance already” ('Poet at the dance: Rita Dove in conversation [with Robert McDowell].' American Poet, Fall 2003).  In the same interview, she describes her own love of dancing and its cultural significance in her life and work.

Today’s prompt is to write about dance - any kind of dance. Use any of the links in this post as a starting point, or Google dance and poetry for more ideas.

The next 30/30 prompt will be tomorrow!

Following Karen McCarthy’s lead, I’m going to post my next 30/30 prompt here tomorrow.

Saturday is my day for prompting participants in the challenge, and as I was working out the prompts to use, I realised that I have more than enough to post two prompts a week - the regular Friday prompt and the 30/30 Saturday ones, all themed, of course, around getting the most out of special collections and book- and archive-related materials.

As an example of this week’s prompt, here is the draft I wrote as part of the 30/30 Poetry Challenge last Saturday. It is part of a longer sequence of love poems between an apewoman and  a birdman.
Esther is posting both the prompts we are using in the 3/30 challenge and her responses to them, including her brief and oblique reaction to Prof. Jones’ portrait, which she has titled ‘Hope’.
Den’s piece, on her blog Brain Candy, is a stream of consciousness on the nature of the self (and the human).
Thanks to Esther and Den for sharing their first drafts so publicly!

As an example of this week’s prompt, here is the draft I wrote as part of the 30/30 Poetry Challenge last Saturday. It is part of a longer sequence of love poems between an apewoman and  a birdman.

Esther is posting both the prompts we are using in the 3/30 challenge and her responses to them, including her brief and oblique reaction to Prof. Jones’ portrait, which she has titled ‘Hope’.

Den’s piece, on her blog Brain Candy, is a stream of consciousness on the nature of the self (and the human).

Thanks to Esther and Den for sharing their first drafts so publicly!

30/30 prompt: judge a book by its cover
30/30 prompt: dance
The next 30/30 prompt will be tomorrow!

About:

Writing exercises and prompts based on special collections and their websites.

Originally conceived as a workshop for Essex Poetry Festival 2008.

More background info here.

Following: