Project 1: Collaborative Poem-Fremont Fair Poetry for All, by All

I am thrilled to be part of the Fremont Fair this year! All day Saturday, June 19, I will at the Fremont Abbey Arts for all table (near the Ecozone and Redhook Stage…see map below). I will asking people to contribute to a Collaborative Poem to be written on a large piece of canvas.       

EVERYONE–kids, parents, adults, trolls, nymphs, banjo players, dogs with opposable thumbs, et al. You DO NOT have to be a writer, poet, artist, or word nerd to participate. Just come by and add a line. I am hoping to fill one, maybe two canvases with the words of the people. The more, the wordier.       

After the fair, I will publish the poem here on the blog along with all the names of the authors (should they wish to be identified). Also, I will seek to publish it on the site, and perhaps (if they ever write me back) on the site! I hope to spread the words far and wide so as many people as possible can participate in some way.        

See below to an explanation of how a Collaborative Poem works. (Or can work. There are many variations.)         

What is Collaborative Poetry?       

A Collaborative Poem is a piece of literature written by many hands and many minds. It can move in many directions at once. It holds the creativity of multiple people and can include diverse language, context, thematic material, etc.        

The point of a collaborative poem is to see how the ideas of one person ideas affect and inspire those of another. The poem is a record of each person’s associations, a collection of a feelings and words thought by a group.         

The Method          

1) Read back only a few lines. (Try not to read the whole poem until after you have added your lines. It’s more fun.)      




Roses are red,     

 Violets are blue,       

2) Find a word, image, sound, phrase, or theme that appeals to you, and use it for inspiration.    




Violets, blue, red, flowers, love, colors, opposites, purple, gardens, thorns, feeling sad, emotions associated with colors, assonance of vowels sounds “o” “a” and “e”, spring, repetition of structure (“_______s are _______”), etc.         

3) Write 1‐4 lines that build on the lines written just before yours. Though inspired by the lines previous, your lines do not necessarily have to keep the same meaning, theme, structure, or style.

Roses are red,       

 Violets are blue,      

Soulful stoop pansies,      

 Posed in clay pots,       

 Envious of ivy’s crawl,      

 And blackberry’s ramble.       

*In the example, the double meaning of “blue” (“sad”) is used to create a small story about the “violet”. It echoes the short‐line style (3‐4 words/line) and conjectures why a “violet” might feel sad. It uses alliteration (letters/sounds of “p”, “s” “v” and “b”) and assonance (the short “a”, the long e sound made by “i” and “y” and the short “o” sound).       

  • Don’t rhyme the last word with a previous line. (However, you can try to rhyme words within the lines with other words in other lines to show how they relate.)
  • Use similar vowel (assonance) and/or consonant sounds (alliteration) to create interest in your language.
  • Use associations, i.e. this reminds me of that, and play with the ideas that they create.
  • Play with structure, line length, repetition, and word meanings.
  • Use verbs! Strong action verbs make interesting images.
  • Incorporate the senses—taste, smell, sight, touch, sound, emotion, etc.
  • Let the creativity flow! This is just for fun!




About Taylor

Teacher/Writer/Word Nerd View all posts by Taylor

One response to “Project 1: Collaborative Poem-Fremont Fair Poetry for All, by All

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: