bad poetry project
Hanno Frank describes the bad poetry project:
For Christmas 2005, a friend sent me the latest book by Stephen Fry, one of my
favorite authors. I was wildly excited at the prospect of reading the book and decide
to save it for a long, overnight train trip to Hungry I was planning in order to savor it
properly. And so, for weeks, I had the book but resisted the urge to read it and even
tried not to look at the title.
On the evening I departed for Szeged, I settled into my reserved seat for a long,
pleasant night of undisturbed reading and finally allowed myself to open the The Ode
Less Travelled. I was a puzzled by the table of contents – all the previous books I
had read from Fry are novels and this table of contents looked a bit less fictional than
expected. After carefully scanning through the book, I realized it is not a novel at all,
but a book giving technical advice on how to write poetry.
My experiences writing intentionally bad poems and the technical information I had
gained from Fry's book became a dangerous mix in my brain. When I was pondering
how I could thank the friend who sent me the book, I decided I would send her one
poem per week for a full year – all of them bad. (More like revenge than gratitude,
Incomprehensibly, when I told some friends about my poetry writing activities, they
actually wanted to see the poems. I did my best to discourage this, repeating with
emphasis that the poems were supposed to be BAD. But the few who refused to be
deterred became members of the bad poetry mailing list. Some of them actually attempted to write poems themselves,
although I am happy to say they fell short of writing truly bad poetry (with the
exception of Horizon Gitano, of coarse, who is commotion poetry personified).
Books that include poems written in the bad poetry project: