Poem-A-Day Project Recap

During April, I posted a poem a day to my Instagram account (@evelynalauer). I ignored poetry as a form for years while I drafted a novel and struggled to write a memoir that I finished and restarted so many times that it has now become fiction. But poetry is why I became a writer in the first place. Poetry is my love. It’s what lives inside me. It’s also the form I’ve studied the most, the form I have an MFA in.

This past month has been the best thing I’ve done for my writing since I moved to Texas to start graduate school for creative writing when I was 29. I enjoyed writing poems and posting them for people to read and react to. Most days, I spent less than 10 minutes on each poem. I didn’t over think them; I let the words pour out of me and then I’d post. Some days, I spent more time changing words or re-breaking lines.

I enjoyed the project so much that I plan to self-publish a book of the 30 poems from the month as well as a few new poems. Stay tuned for more details on this project.

Here’s my favorite poem from the month:

Miles Davis in the morning

You left. The walls
closed in. Sliver
of light between what
was once now and
what would soon become

the past. Unchangeable.
A door shut. And then
another, hot asphalt
of August swallowing
your shadow.

I turned on Kind of
Blue. Let the sun
creep in from behind
the curtain. Made coffee
without sugar or cream.

You were already
down the street, or in a cab,
or home, making toast,
only a week away from never
seeing me again.

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Happiness Project: April

I used to write poems every day. I used to try to write poems every day. I was 29 years old, and I had just moved to a small town in Texas to pursue an MFA in poetry. I sat at my desk that overlooked a front yard littered with pecans that fell from the trees in my front yard as my dog rest at my feet. I looked out into the world and hoped it would give me an image to turn into a line: a red leaf, a smooth stone, a boat by the name of Dance of the Moon.

After receiving my MFA in 2005, I returned to my career as a high school teacher. And the next decade became a blur of my career and motherhood. I continued to write, but my projects shifted away from poems. But I’d like that to change. I’d like to return to the form that fuels me, the form that made me want to be a writer in the first place.

So for the month of April, I vow to write a poem a day. Here’s my first one:

The Edge of Everything

Motivation: the sun
how it warms you into
what you’ve avoided
for weeks. It is easier
to ignore the weight of what
we used to be:      possible
like keys hanging from a heart-shaped
hook. I clung onto the edge
of everything without you.
There was the golden sky
how it opened like a hand
reaching —

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Skylined: A Story of Love and Loss in the City

I’m thrilled to announce Skylined: A Story of Love and Loss in the City, which is a collaborative project that I created with Chicago photographer Laura Lopez. She took the photos, and I wrote the words. Sometimes I wrote a poem inspired by her photos; other times she shot a photo after she read my poems. The result is a series of 13 photos that tell a story when strung together.

To check out the project, visit our Etsy site, where you can purchase 11 x 17 prints.

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