The Inside Higher Ed Poetry Magnet — Online Edition

Because of my fascination with poetic constraint and compositional limitations, I’ve always been intrigued by the possibilities of magnetic poetry.  Both commercial and kitschy, magnetic poetry seems like merely an idle parlor game, a diversion.  And a fun one it is.  However, I do think it has the potential for more serious endeavors, and I firmly agree with William Carlos Williams that “[a]nything is good material for poetry.”  I published a chapbook called Midnight’s Marsupium in 2010 with the UK-based Knives Forks and Spoons Press (which I just recently heard is closing its doors–sadly) that includes poems that I composed on the website  Here’s a sample piece below:


So when I found out that Inside Higher Ed was running a magnetic poetry contest for the upcoming MLA convention, I couldn’t pass up the offer.  “Submit your poem by January 5 for a chance at one of three Amazon gift cards to be given away at the MLA convention in Boston.”

The given word store is quite challenging as it contains a lot of “unpoetic” academic jargon and terminology:


But I decided to take a “classical” approach–in T.S. Eliot’s sense of “doing the best one can with the material at hand”–and produced the modest result:


For those going to the MLA next month–safe travels!  See you in Boston.

~ by Michael Leong on December 19, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: