The Pink Plastic Residence Hall is the interactive experience of my online Southern Literary Festival workshop course “The Succinct Striptease of Short Form Poetry.” A truncated version of the workshop was taught online in spring of 2020 in lieu of the intended onsite workshop cancelled due to the Covid 19 virus and the prohibition of large gatherings of people. After I was notified of the cancellation of the festival, I was invited to and did record a 15 minute segment of my workshop that you can watch here or at the website of the Southern Literary Festival.
At the end of the lecture on the importance of imagery in poetry emphasizing the fact that all art is ekphrastic and we can comb imagery from our personal lives, news, true crime, fantasy and other works of art which influence us and we expand upon, I issued a prompt to the viewers. As the workshop was taught at my home, I was able to use one of my most powerful images, and very real images, in my poetry career: my very own Barbie dream house, or as I call it in a poem and the journal that the poem inspired, pink plastic house.
That’s the thing about powerful images that are bigger even sometimes than the poems they live inside. They can become universes and inspire art in so many others.
— is, in fact, an image of one of the Pink Plastic House rooms prepared with you with a variety of selected plastic images. The picture is posted below for your examination.
Here are some of the contents of the room: cradle, baby, bell jar, tarantula, chick, flowers or bouquet, pearls or necklace or pearl necklace, x-ray, telescope, microscope, backpack, fairy, table, chair, headphones among others — don’t let me limit you. You can describe these images or use them in any way you like, too.
The challenge is to use at least ten elements of this picture in a poem. Though the workshop was intended to deal with shorter poetry, you are welcome to submit a poem up to one page in length or as short as you desire (that uses at least ten images from the poem.) I will publish as many of these entries as I can. Please submit them in preferably a word doc file or PDF (if you are submitting a concrete poem that necessitates this format. I do not like Google doc submissions. All submissions should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Pink Plastic Residence Hall. Only submit one poem.
Thank you for playing along.
Pink Plastic House