Oulipost begins today!
Every day this April, nearly 80 poets will write one poem per day by applying constrained writing techniques sourced from the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle — or “workshop of potential literature”) group to text sourced from their daily local newspaper. This is the first of thirty prompts in the Oulipost project.
Oulipost #1: Quote Cento
When composing a cento, poets take lines from existing poems (traditionally without any alterations) and patch them together to form a new poem. Today, create a cento using only quotes referenced in newspaper articles. For example, if a newspaper article contained the line “It was a tragedy,” commented Detective Smith, the line, “It was a tragedy,” would be available for you to use in your poem. While you can’t change anything within the quotes themselves, you may choose to break a longer quote in half or use just part of a quote as needed.
- Purist? Challenge yourself to write your cento using only complete quotes (sentences) as they appear in your articles.
- Add an additional constraint by challenging yourself to use only quotes sourced from a single article, single newspaper page or single newspaper section.