Oulipo – Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (or “workshop of potential literature”) is a group of mostly French-speaking writers and mathematicians that seek to create works using constrained writing techniques.
For National Poetry Month this year, The Found Poetry Review has recruited over 80 poets from the furthest reaches of the interwebs to participate in a poem-a-day project, beginning on April 1st. We bold, brave, possibly masochistic Ouliposters will be using our daily local newspapers as a source text to write poems based off of daily prompts.
You can locate Oulipost on twitter at #oulipost, and I’ll be posting the prompts here alongside the poems they’ve generated, if anyone wants to “play along at home” using their own local newspapers. 🙂
MY OULIPOST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST?
I’m thrilled to discover which prompts will be given, and look forward to seeing what divergent work emerges from each one as the various newspapers coincide with each poet’s unique approach to creating found language poetry.
2. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, SCARES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST?
The randomness of the source material is a little daunting, and I’m a little apprehensive at the prospect of local headlines making their way into poems. I’m trying to remember that the source text is just that: source text to be reforged into something new.
3. HAVE YOU WRITTEN EXPERIMENTAL OR FOUND POETRY BEFORE? IF SO, TELL US ABOUT IT.
I’ve written a number of found language poems, most recently using prompts discovered on the Found Poetry Review website. I enjoyed ransacking my bookshelf and giving various books the Fibonacci/Golden Ratio treatment from their December 19, 2013 prompt ( http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/poetry-prompt-the-golden-ratio/ ), and was surprised what came out of such divergent sources as an Experimental Psychology textbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide (3.5, of course), The Leatherman’s Handbook, and Uta Hagen’s ‘Respect for Acting.’
4. WHAT NEWSPAPER WILL SERVE AS YOUR SOURCE TEXT?
I’ll be using the Evansville Courier & Press.
5. WHO’S YOUR SPIRIT OULIPIAN?
Nancy Chen Long is my Spirit Oulipan—her chapbook, Clouds As Inkblots For the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013) is an inspiring collection of found language poetry, and reading it gave me a much greater appreciation for found language poetry in general.