A very merry fifth day of Na/GloPoWriMo to everyone. We hope your poetic output is chugging along!

Today, our featured participant is words in your eyes, where the abstract-to-concrete poem for Day 4 employs slant rhyme to create a haunting, rolling rhythm.

Our interview today is a two-for-one deal, with responses from both Samar Abdel Jaber and Nicole Callihan, co-authors of Translucence, soon to be out from Indolent Books. In Translucence, Abdel Jaber and Callihan document a dialogue between poets writing in different languages, exploring translation, connection, and photography, all at the same time. You can read an excerpt from the book here, and our interviews with the two authors here.

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like the work in Translucence, reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph. Now find a poem in a language you don’t know (here’s a good place to look!) Ignore any accompanying English translation (maybe cover it up, or cut-and-paste the original into a new document). Now start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph. It will be a bit of a balancing act, but hopefully it will lead to new and beautiful (and possibly very weird) places.

Happy writing!

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