100 poems in a day?

In a stunning feat of derring-do, poet Tim Clare is attempting to write 100 poems today. Tim Clare is a talented performance poet, who recently played a great set at Hammer&Tongue. He was also part of the show Found in Translation, which I saw in London last year, and the writer of We Can't All Be Astronauts, a lovely book about not being a bestselling writer.

In his blog, Tim has talked about speed poetry, where groups of poets write new work in 10 minutes. This is something I'm very interested in after my experiments with Write Club. In one recent post, Mr. Clare talked about the benefits of speed writing on his work:

"Each speed poetry session, I might hear between three and twenty new poems read out to me by their authors. Each one gave me hints on different ways of approaching the same subject matter or interpreting the same phrase – oh yes, I'd think, a poem can sound like found dialogue, or it can be like a little third-person short story with line breaks, or it can have a chorus like a song, or repeated lines, or take all its similes from a particular lexical field, or be presented as instructions, or just be a list of stuff, or be an open letter to somebody, or be in praise of something, or adopt the style of another type of text like a newspaper report. Slowly, I was building up a repetoire of options for when I got the next title… Doing speed poetry regularly helps abolish a fear of blank pages. You learn to just roll your fucking sleeves up and have a bash."

The attempt starts today at 9:00 GMT and there's a blog set up for the poems. Tim is planning about eight minutes a poem, and will be posting the titles on twitter as he starts each one so people can play along. I'm sorry that I'll be at work most of the day and unable to watch until the evening.

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