readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, September 30, 2011

rgz Newsflash: p*tag for October's Teen Read Week!

P*TAG (PoetryTagTime)
Okay. 31 poets, 31 images and you have p*tag, 31 poems linked by tagging and repetition. It went like this: wait until you are tagged, pick an image, and then write a poem, using 3 of the words from the previous poet's poem. Ready, set, go! And we were off, under the guidance of Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. This ekphrastic approach to poetry, where poems are inspired by art, fueled the poets fully. While the resulting poetry collection is eclectic, the repeated words give a notable continuity to the stream. There's an organic pulse running from beginning to end as readers witness this captured Art Happening on their e-readers.

Personally, David L. Harrison tagged me, so I was able to read his wonderful poem "Family Reunion at the Beach." Then I was off to choose a photo from Sylvia's posted images given to inspire us. The photo of a crowd, blurred by the camera's movement, caught my eye. It seemed as if spirits were leaving bodies despite the people's focus locked on the stage. I then chose three of David's words from his poem: clasping, future, and eyes, for my own haiku "Crowd." Finally, I tagged the lovely poet, Julie Larios. I would later learn she used my words: trapped, eyes, away.

All other poems were hidden from the participants until the release of p*tag. So it was a delight to download and read the stream, read how images and poems and repeated words created a complete work of art. I love how one poet responded to another, and immediately offered another point of view. You can see this particularly between Julie Larios and Michele Krueger. One writes of rising above, the other finding "peace in place." Stephanie Hemphill's' "In Praise of Luck" lifted my spirit, although I'd call it providence. :~) And oh, the delight to see one I esteem so highly, Lee Bennett Hopkins, write with few words just like me.

So here is a poem a day for the month of October while we celebrate YALSA's Teen Read Week. How perfect for the theme "Picture it @ your library." Download p*tag onto your device. Visit the website to learn more, see photos, and try your own hand at the ekphrastic approach to poetry. Thanks, Janet and Sylvia! *standing ovation*

compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
available on e-readers

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz


janet wong said...

Thank you, Lorie Ann, not only for participating but for this incredible description of the P*TAG process! I think it was really neat that you and I saw the same thing in the photo you chose. And your spare poem fit its theme PERFECTLY!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Yes, thanks so much for the shout out, Lorie Ann, and for playing tag along with us. We are so thrilled how this all came together-- thanks to the amazing crew of poets who participated!

Melissa Walker said...

Very cool!

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