This site is full of creative poetry/art exercises that aim to bring pleasure back into using words and writing. We welcome the participation of you and your child, please have a look at the list of contents, or the blog archive and try out any of the exercises that you like the look of. We welcome your comments on the success (or otherwise) of the idea…

Friday 5 November 2010

single word concrete poems

All you need is a single word, a piece of paper (or mud, sand, salt etc.) and something to write with. Your job is to make the word look more interesting, by changing the shape or size of the letters or playing with space and colour.

a           lone

Joe's Galaxy

Dramatic words work well, you could try:

Joe's thin & fat

or descriptive words

short & tall
little & big
upside down
under & over
uphill &  downhill

Joe's uphill downhill

You can find other examples in books and on the internet, such as Alec Finlay's Loop poem, and Salt Publishing's splendidly obvious Salt, with letters pressed into the white stuff. This is also chosen by us for another reason (see below).

Alec Finlay, Loop, vinyl on wall, 2006

Salt Publishing logo

A book for inspiration is A Poke in the I, a recent collection of concrete poems, selected by Paul Janeczko and niftily illustrated by Chris Raschka. If you'd like to dig deeper, look at Concrete Poetry by Mary Ellen Solt, her joyous FLOWERS IN CONCRETE is at

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