Do you need a doodle fix?

If it’s not obvious by now, I’m kind of into collaboration; I can’t get enough of it. Not convinced? Allow me to I draw your attention to March Mad Verse for a moment. Or maybe I Doodle, You ‘Ku and open email. Are we good to go? Great, let’s move on.

My friend HM Yuan and I have been saying for more than a while now that we should do something together. He’s an artist and graphic designer; I’m a writer (who pretends she’s an artist); he loves designing books; I love editing books; he loves the integration of text and image; I love the integration of text and image. He has an affinity for high-quality print, but has an interest in the potential of digital publications; so do I. We’re also both INTJs who can’t get enough of the color blue and Nickelback. The point is, it sounds like a really smart match for creating things, and we kind of need to do something about it.

We’ve tossed about several ideas over the last couple months, but everything fell flat (artist’s block, writer’s block, obligations at work, homework, more excuses, etc). As I stated, the March event will go on as planned, but I didn’t think you’d object to more doodleku (don’t think I didn’t hear you, Melissa Allen, being so demanding). One afternoon, the solution occurred to me: HM could doodle, you all could write, and then he and I could edit and come up with some spiffy collection.

How This Shindig Works:

The concept is essentially the same as I Doodle, You ‘Ku, which led to Things with Wings: During the month of January, I’ll post one of HM’s doodles every day. In response, everyone is invited to write and post in the comments a haiku, tanka, gogyoka, small stone, or any short poem (10 lines or less) to accompany the doodle. Write and post as many as you like; have fun with it. Doodleku are meant to be playful.

If you’re not familiar with doodleku, it is closely related to haiga (some call it a subgenre); however, sometimes there’s a little more overlap in image and poem content than may be traditionally acceptable in haiga. It’s meant to be exceptionally playful. Feel free to browse through the “doodleku” post tag or read Things with Wings. Or just jump in and write; we don’t bite.

Afterward, HM and I will go through and select our favorite poems written for each doodle and put them into a collection with the doodles. But don’t let this distract you—just have fun!

The first doodle will go up after I’ve had a bit of sleep.

A Few Things to Consider:

• Some journals may consider the works posted in comments as “published.”

• You, as the author, retain the rights to your work before and after it appears on my blog/in the final collection.

• I know many participants like to post the poems they write daily on their own blogs, but please do not post the doodles on your own site.

• Doodleku on!

Do you need a doodle fix?

Found in Song

I desperately wanted to do another Halloween theme here on Yay Words!, especially since the ball really got rolling with Tea with Trolls last year; however, it just wasn’t in the cards. (That being said, please think bout sending Margaret Dornaus poems for Día de los Muertos on her blog by October 26th!) As we round out 2012 and I try to think of something appropriate for New Years, I’ll have to shoot for Christmas instead.

About a month or so ago, while exchanging emails with a few other poets (namely Lucas Stensland), we started a series of exchanges of found poems using song titles. Within several rounds, I became undoubtedly addicted and entertained by the way these poems have been turning out (especially in the light of the dry spell with my own words as of late). So after kicking around possibilities and guidelines, I’d like to extend this challenge out to the rest of you.


1. You may only use song titles and/or band/artist names.

2. You may not add/subtract words, but you may add/subtract punctuation.

3. You may break a title up into several lines, but you may not merge two titles/names into one line. Unless it’s a one-liner. For example, this is acceptable:

summer fades . . .
before the light
takes us

(“Summer Fades” by Smoke Fairies; “Before the Light Takes Us” by Darkness Falls)

This is not:

[line 1]
I will wait 30 seconds
to Mars

(“I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons; 30 Seconds to Mars [band])

4. You must list all your sources, preferably in the order that they appear. For example:

dante’s prayer
lost in the echo
wild mountain thyme

“Dante’s Prayer” – Loreena McKennitt
“Lost in the Echo” – Linkin Park
“Wild Mountain Thyme” by Sarah Calderwood

I will take small, song-found poems until Thursday, December 20th. For this particular project, I will take up to 10, and ninety-nine percent of the time I’ll take at least one. I reserve the right to ask you to try again if nothing really catches my eye, but don’t take it as a brushoff; that really does mean try again!

Theme/What to write about: Found poems using song titles and/or band/artist names.

What form: Haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, gogyōka, renku, haibun, haiga (doodles most welcome!), small stones, short poems (up to 10 lines), prose poems (300 words or less), etc. Art is also encouaged!

How many: As many as you want! I will take as many as 10 and no less than 1.

When: Send them in by Thursday, December 20th (I will wait until the whole world has reached the 20th); I will post a PDF on this blog as close to Christmas as I can manage. With any luck, on Christmas day!

Where to send: Either leave a comment to this post or send an email to aubriecox [at] gmail [dot] com. If you email, put “SING” in the subject line, if you please. If you leave a comment, please know that it may take me longer to get back to you, because I’ll sometimes wait until around the deadline to address comment submissions.

Other important stuff:

Things you should keep in mind/include (the usual, but some more relevant than others for this particular challenge):

• Most journals will consider these works published

• If your work is already published, include the publishing credits (it’s kind of important and a nice thing to do)

• You, as the writer/artist/poet/etc, retain the rights to you work before and after it appears on my blog/in the PDF.

• If you want me to link back, please send along the name and link of your blog/Twitter account/website/etc! Also, make sure your have your name listed as you would like for it to appear.

Found in Song

A Hundred Gourds Haiga Editorship

Although this is old news by now, I realized today that I never officially announced it on here on the blog aside from including it my news page with the publications at the beginning of last month.

A Hundred Gourds is a journal that I have admired since its beginning, and have been incredibly fond of the editorial team. Over the summer, I was informed that Melinda Hipple, one of the founders, was stepping down from her position as haiga editor to pursue the next adventure in life. Some things happened and one thing led to the next, and eventually it was decided that starting with issue 2.2 in March, I will be editing the haiga section of A Hundred Gourds. My first issue will be in March, but the submissions period is now.

From September 15th to December 15th is the submissions window for issue 2.2. You can look on the submissions page for more information. I’ve also included my little spiel below. Hope to see some of your work!

On the most fundamental level, I consider haiga to be the combination of an image and short poem. However, the poem should not explain the picture or vice versa. Rather, the poem should expand upon what’s presented in the image and vice versa. This expansion may play off an emotion, theme, or detail that’s presented in either or both the image and poem; the image/poem may also alter the audience’s perception of the poem/image. The best haiga do not always have an obvious connection between the poem or image, but resonate and create an experience that would not be possible by the poem or image alone—the two art forms come together to create something new when put together that would not exist otherwise. That being said, both the poem and image must be well crafted and be able to carry their own weight.

I accept the combination of image and haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, and short haibun. Play is an important part of haikai to me, so I strongly encourage the use of all mediums for artwork including, but not limited to: photography, brushwork, collage (digital and handmade), pencil/ink sketches, and computer graphics. Please do not send haiga made with stock and/or creative commons images.

Haiga images must be JPEG/JPG format with a maximum height/width of 750 pixels including any decorative borders and a minimum height/width of 600 pixels. Include your signature as part of the artwork itself. Please make sure the text within the graphics is readable, and keep in mind we may resize images when necessary to fit our format. If a haiga is a collaboration, both parties must give permission to publish and include name and contact information.

A Hundred Gourds Haiga Editorship