Writers from across the country joined us on Thursday, July 16 for another magical installment of our Summer Salon Series, Spoken Word Poetry with spoken word artist and educator Cynthia Amoah.
PROMPT #1: Community Poem
- Write a one-line sentence, and go around “the room” to culminate one whole moving, living, vibrating piece.
- Each line must begin with “We” (repetition)
- Each line must include either a color, a shape, a sound or a type of weather
- Each line must include either a feeling, a place or a thing
- For example: “We shine as gold as glimmering eyes.”
Salon participants penned this poem:
We shine, each of us, as gold as glimmering eyes.
We may be different but our voices shall ring out as one.
We are drops of rain racing down the windowpane, parallel lines that never meet.
We grow as the spring serenity.
We are making a run on indigo, gone by tomorrow.
We have become as gray as the woebegone river.
We are powerful like the sky during thunderstorms.
We roar like thunder setting fire in the wind.
We are the storm and thunder. We shake the earth with the sound of our voices.
We will stick together like the white picket fence around my future house.
We are the crashing of waves against the beach shore, unapologetically earth-shaking.
We are powerful warriors that tread on the earth with thunderous footsteps.
We undulate and move as blue-green ocean waves.
We rain blue Jazz in circles.
We dance in the rain of our parade unfazed.
We are aurora full of mysteries and light.
We are blue moon voices, eyes containing the cosmos.
We are our own song, a pounding ocean rhythm.
We are stars of a galaxy, shining bright and guiding each other’s light.
PROMPT #2: “What Broken”
- Pick one sound out of the poem or a sound around them they heard while listening.
- Write about the sound you heard/picked. It could be a large sound or a very small one. Whatever it is, I want you to focus on it. Describe it in as much detail as you can. Don’t forget to use the sound in the poem as well as one of the tools we discussed earlier.
- Start by describing the sound itself – what are the best words for the sound you can hear? Is it loud or quiet? Does it invade your ears, or do you really have to strain to hear it? Is it continuous, or short and sharp like a puncture?
- Then expand the picture out from there. What’s making the sound? Can you see it? What does it look like? Whatever’s making it: does it change as it makes the sound? How does it affect the other sounds around it? How does it affect you? Does it remind you of something else? Another time you heard it, perhaps, or something else that makes a similar noise?
- The trick with this exercise is focus. Focus all your energy and attention on that one sound, and let the detail fill the words.
PROMPT #3: Sound of Silence
- Write and describe what silence sounds like.
Our Summer Salons—now open to the public—are a space for our community to learn from and write with some incredible authors, poets, journalists, and novelists. The Girls Write Now Summer Salon Series is an extension of our Writing Works Program.
Cynthia Amoah is a spoken word artist and educator originally from Ghana. She completed her MFA in poetry at The New School where she was cited for Excellence in Poetry and has been featured on the stages of The Lincoln Theater, TEDxDrewUniversity and TEDxOhioStateUniversity, among many. Cynthia’s writing often concerns the foraging questions that have to do with identity and belonging, with displacement, migration and uprootedness. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in OURS Magazine, Nimrod Journal, and Crab Orchard Review. When not found writing or performing, Cynthia enjoys facilitating poetry workshops back home in Ghana where the “moody weather” of Ohio cannot find her.