Writing Prompt Week! Day 5: Jim Daniels

This brings us to day 5 of writing prompt week. I met today’s contributor – poet, fiction-writer, and screenwriter Jim Daniels – when I was in high school, and, by an odd series of events, he would become my mentor for the next ten years. Actually, when I think about it, there was no odd series of events, there was only Jim’s decision to help a young poet, to offer thorough, consistent constructive criticism, without any real obligation to me via academic institution or social ties. Jim has inspired by own investment, engagement, and encouragement in younger poets, a practice I recommend to every writer. His latest poetry collection (his 14th!) is BIRTHMARKS (BOA Editions) – find it in your local bookstore today. Happy writing. Deep gratitude to Jim! — Sophie Klahr, poetry editor

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

Write a resume/self portrait poem. Take some of the traditional categories of a resume or job application and respond with poetry. I have a whole series of examples of this. I first started with Ruth Whitman’s poem, “A Questionnaire.” Her categories:

Describe your early education

What is your permanent address

Male or female

Describe a crucial event in your life

List your honors and awards

Give a brief statement of your plans

 

Rather than literally answer these questions, the way we would when filling out a form, she often answers them with metaphors.

Here’s some other self-portrait poems:

ORIGINS — (by Jeffrey McDaniel)

SKETCH FOR A JOB APPLICATION BLANK — (by Jim Harrison)

IN SEARCH OF AUNT JEMIMA — (by Crystal Williams)

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