Welcome back, all, for Day Five of NaPoWriMo!

Today’s featured press is Zone 3, operating out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Zone 3 both publishes books and a bi-annual magazine. The magazine’s annual poetry contest is now underway, offering a prize of$250 for the best poem.

Today’s featured participant is Six Guns and Soda Pop, where the daily poems combine to tell a story. In fact, the poems are picking up from a poem-story written during last year’s NapoWriMo!

Today’s prompt is a little complicated, which is why I saved it for a Saturday, in the hopes that you might have a little more time today than during a weekday. I think this is a very rewarding form, though, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! (In fact, you can do so twice, because Hayes, being ultra-ambitious, wrote a two-part golden shovel, repeating Brooks’ poem). Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize. And there’s no need to double-up the poem you pick, like Hayes did. Here are a few possibilities to work from:


Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

-Charles Simic



Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed.

-Thom Gunn

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Happy writing!

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