These are some poems from my morning writing with one-word prompts off Mastodon.
Peace (and Poems),
This poem is part of the National Writing Project’s summer Write Across America project, which different NWP sites and affiliates across the country are hosting place-based writing sessions.
I guess I tend to not be part of the Zoom sessions (so far) but I do use the resources and prompts for my own writing, on my own time. The latest visit was to Georgia, and one of the resources was a page about the McIntosh County Shouters, and their use of song and dance to tell stories, and to remember. The video I watched was about Jubilee, and that inspired the poem.
Peace (and Dance),
A few folks in recent weeks have shared Obligations 2, a formatted poem by Layli Long Soldier that is fascinating to read and powerful for the way its ideas flow in various directions. You can read the poem along different paths. Her use of “the grief” phrasing across the entire center of her poem is such an emotional anchor moment, one that caused me to pause each time, right at that anchor, before moving onward, and then re-reading along another path, only to pause again at “the grief” line.
I was curious about how to even begin to formulate this kind of poem, so I tried to give it a try. I began with the simple concept of a “start” and an finish point of “forever” in my poem. Somehow, it became a shape poem too, as I started to see the contours of the narrator emerging through the formatting. Now, I am not really sure that was a wise design choice – whether that adds to or takes away from the poem itself.
You can read my poem top-down and jump diagonal as well and still have a flow of the poem, but I don’t think it is nearly as effective or as powerful in narrative as Obligations 2 is.
Peace (and Poems),
I am fortunate to be connected to folks in my National Writing Project circles like Paul Allison, who administers Youth Voices network and the NowComment annotation site. Paul has been at the forefront in my circles in thinking a lot and experimenting with the possibilities of Generative AI as a technology tool that could help readers and writers.
I had noticed that Paul and a few others NWP-affiliated folks were experimenting with the concept of AI Thinking Partners at NowComment — AI generated bots that engage with a text — but I have only just dipped my toes into what he has been doing, now that my school year is over. Then I saw him ask folks to experiment by keeping a daily Dialogue Journal in NowComment, and experiment with the AI Thinking Partners that he and others have been building out (using the API of ChatGPT).
I jumped in and I have made my journal (from June 24-July 1) public, so feel free to peruse my daily writing, which was themed each day on thinking about Artificial Intelligence (which I have been doing a lot since ETMOOC2 in the Spring). Then, after my journal writing, I would ask the Thinking Partner to engage a bit in discussions with me in the margins.
Paul also met with me to talk through some of the steps to creating my own Thinking Partners, and I made three: JazzHands, with a creative arts persona; HaikuHere, which is designed to turn a text into haiku; and WriteOutRanger, which is an experiment for the Write Out project to have an AI “park ranger” engage in discussions about place-based learning.
I am still thinking through the elements of all this, and wondering in the back of my head how this might be helpful or not to students in a classroom. For now, I am in experiment mode, playing around and trying to learn through experience the possibilities of embedded AI Thinking Partners. I know I need to learn a lot more about Prompt Engineering, and Paul and others have gathered together a lot of resources to explore on this topic.
Peace (and Inquiry),
PS — Do you want to set up your own AI Dialogue Notebook in NowComment? Here are the instructions at the NowComment site. Let me know how it goes.
This was an interesting surprise. I was biking the local rail trail when I spied a box up on a stand, and thought it might be a new Little Free Library. Nope. It was a Tiny Art 4 All display, one of five newly installed small boxes of public artwork located along the trail that will feature local artists, changing the art every few weeks for the year. I stopped at a second box a bit later and will need to go another time to find the other three. I love our small art-centered city.
Peace (and Art),
My mornings often begin with a poem (usually from a one-word prompt off Mastodon) and a response to the DS106 Daily Create. The poem was from the word “gradual” and the video/song was from a prompt about the future via an image of Bryan Alexander giving a presentation about the future. The music I composed was themed in three movements: Curiosity, Concern, and Creativity.
Peace (Making It),
PS – I’ve also been doing something related to further explorations of AI Thinking Partners with my NWP friend, Paul Allison, but I will share more about that another day.
We had to put our dog, Duke, down yesterday. He had a good life, living 15 years, a long time for a big dog. Nearly all of that time was with us, after we rescued him from the streets of the Carolinas as a 9 month old pup.
Duke has often been sleeping near me in the mornings, when I write. And walks with him have given me time to think. He was a gentle dog, to people and other animals, and I will miss him dearly.
Our younger dog probably does not yet understand why he is missing or where he is (we are also watching a relative’s dog, so there is another canine presence here, which is helpful).
The house feels a bit empty, for sure. We’ll miss him. Good dog.
Peace (and love and sadness),