Update on The 2018 Poetry Marathon

A while back we warned everyone that the future of The Poetry Marathon was uncertain, that we were not sure how we were going to proceed next year, if we were going to not do one in 2018 or if someone else would take on the bulk of the work with Jacob and I providing support and experience.

We had a lot of talented volunteers that wanted to help and take over the work. Many of them seemed fully capable and they may well have done a lot better job than us, but it became clear that narrowing down the candidates and training them would take a lot of work in and of itself.

So the long and the short of it is this – there will be no 2018 Poetry Marathon, and we know this makes many of you sad, and it also makes us sad. But we also know how much support we have from everyone going forward – and that is our plan – to go forward.

The reason we know for sure we will not be able to host or train anyone to take over for us in 2018 is a very exciting one, at least in our minds. Our second child is due May 28th, 2018.To have the marathon take place before than seems insane, and afterwards even more so.

In 2019 (barring the end of the world or other un-forseen developments) there will be a Poetry Marathon, that we run and that looks a lot like the ones that proceeded it.

The only thing we know will change is the anthology. Caitlin will still design the cover but we are going to look for a different editor, someone from within the Poetry Marathon group, someone who has participated in at least one Marathon before, and we will pay that editor.

We will be able to afford to pay this editor because the marathon anthology will be happening dependent on donations. We will set up a gofundme (or some such fundraising site) and set the goal at 500 dollars. That money will go to the editor. We hope everyone will help promote the page and that the anthology will happen because of it. There will still be no fees attached to the marathon. But this seemed like the only way to make the anthology sustainable.

The following year we will try and have someone work on the marathon 50/50 with us, and then that person (or persons, but no more than two) may take over from us, with the mandate to never charge for the marathon, and always keep it international.

Even though there won’t be an official marathon this year, but if you want to run or participate in an unofficial one, you have permission to use the blog, just drop us an email at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com. We won’t be offering much in the way of technical support/ feedback, but we should be able to help with the basics.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment here or send us an email at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com

The 2017 Poetry Marathon Anthology

The 2017 Poetry Marathon Anthology is now available for purchase.

I am so happy with how it turned out this year, visually and lyrically. This anthology reflects the magic and madness of the event, not to mention the wide range of writers that participate in it.

You can buy copies of the anthology here,

If you are outside of the US, the UK, and France, you might have to wait a few weeks. CreateSpace takes their time making it available in other countries and it will not be available to buy directly for the price we set, in all countries. We wish this wasn’t the case and apologize for the delay and potential availability issues. If only publishing internationally was easier.

Revisions for Submissions

Hey so I had sent in my submission for the anthology. My poem Cafe Writer from hour 6 is the one that got in after my revision. But I thought I would post both of the poems I had sent in for submission. I had a hard time choosing poems to work on and I had liked Cafe Writer a lot when I first wrote it and Text You Close I had fun writing so I ended up picking those two to send in.


Hour 6
Cafe Writer
Words slipping free of my pens.
Stories unfolding from depths of thoughts.
Stretching to fill the page.
But my stories are left half done.
Pen unsure of what is coming next.
All action gone to calm quiet.
The hero losing the need to save.
Story frozen and left in a file.
My eyes glance around the cafe.
Everyone living a story.
Maybe some writing new ones too.
Some also only getting half down.
Not able to finish the story.
Maybe the end is too sad.
Or it became too cliche.
Or maybe I am the only one lost.
Hour 23
Text You Close
It’s weird to miss you.
Since we were never that close.
But we got closer before I left.
Something was different.
We started to talk.
We shared something others didn’t.
This side of me I haven’t told my friends.
You understood me in a way different from others.
I wish we could actually sit and talk in person.
But being able to text is better than not.
I will just keep texting you closer.

Writing By Firelight

I am very content to sit down by a fire and just relax. Definitely an Aries, a fire sign I am. I like the beach too, the water and sand, but not as much as a fire or even candles burning. Just siting by my candles in my office is peaceful. I also collect leaves, driftwood, rocks and feathers that I find, and display them on my shelves with my books. I am very at home with nature, might be the Cherokee in me.

I’ve been sitting by this fire for about four hours now but with no intention of going inside. I even built the fire back up so it would last longer. I suppose at some point I’ll have to go in, but for now, I’m enjoying my writing by the firelight.


Hello fellow writers, poets, and word whittlers!

How exciting, staying up all night to write!  Something like being a kid and watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  Looking forward to it.


hour 24


unending expeditions

drawing you down

pathways into an exciting future


hour 23

The bracelet

Jewelry not one of your things
But you appreciated the effort to keep you safe
I gave you the bracelet for your 76th birthday
To show your allergy to penicillin
When I gave it to you it had a picture of Elvis in it
A young man leaning against a car…he hadn’t’ even died yet
You wore the bracelet every day since you weren’t welding anymore
It wouldn’t get in your way driving the bus.
It might someday keep you safe from a doctor

I wanted the bracelet back and got it that day as mom slid your wedding ring onto her finger before we drove out to the cemetery
The family asked me why
I told them it was for the child
Your bracelet in pocket for later
I rang my finger across the cold metal as we stood near you grave
Back at the house, I gave the bracelet to the child
I’m sure she doesn’t remember
She probably doesn’t even have it any longer
But since she was also allergic I thought she could use it or just keep it to remember you
As I do now.

hour 22

backing cont.

 ,into the night.
 I doze dreaming of deer jumping into the road 
with each jerk of the wheel as the man 
and Bill share a hazardous smoke.  
Delivered to a park we thank him as he drives 
on and we set up camp in a town we don’t know.  
A welcomed shower long warm leaving pools of 
grime and threats of a pixie cut as each strand 
of hair wrapped around another.
Two hours of brushing and another at dawn
Tears dried with kisses and layers of
Previously needed sun screen put on
East to Missouri with a traveling salesman
Wanting company drops us intersecting two interstates
Hitching not allowed, time to walk
Map check and decision to walk to the highway
But heat beyond expectations and even
With water the physical demands and too much and I pass out
Revived and tired return to interstate to walk to text exit
And an uninvited ride in a Cadillac Seville
Hold your packs in the backseat on your lap and groceries is in the trunk
Exit two more down, pass the golf course
Down a long drive to a mansion white and three car garage
We pull right in nose in to the washing machine and deep freezer
Hoping that’s not where we will end up
Call your families take a swim
Make an iced tea with seltzer water
Conversation and cocktails, BBQed burgers 
Call to son who goes to Bemidji for summer hockey camps
Call to the corporate jet but it’s busy
So we exchange contact information 
Get a ride to a campground at sunset
And have stories to tell about the World Trade Center banker
Another restful night just a few more home
From Missouri we hear more tales of those missing
Disappeared and presumed dead on the radio
Two three four cars pass as we walk thumbs out
Finally a low slung black beater pulls to side
We run, throw our bags in the trunk, hop in the back
Three man-boys loud tunes and smoke
Exhaust pipe fumes making us nauseated
Jokes about those disappeared and smokes shared
Across another state nearly done
Sargent in sargent buys us lunch at the counter
Been here longer than dirt missing his wife
Quiet plains turn dark and still
Sirens blow and we watch as cyclone
Twirls above and does the Kansas waltz
Returning home wrung out worn out
And thrilled to tell these thumbed tales
Summer school hitchhikers guide

hour 21

Backpacking to Colorado

A summer break was time for adventure.
Equipment rented and over packed,
thumb sticking out we hit the road.

A semi truck cab bouncing wildly
across the southern Dakota
barely able to read the Burma Shave signs.

Camping at KOA didn’t seem like roughing
it enough while we walked across the highway
to go dancing in the honkytonk.

But the station wagon with a family of five,
homeless and searching for work
the tale to be remembered and told.

And the bronc buster who drove us
south the next day traveled the plains
ranch to ranch breaking horses.

dropped off on the edge of a little town
no campground So we splurged a motel room,
prepaid with no refunds, no A/C

no hospitality returned with
a gift, meat to spoil in the radiator
We learn as we moved on.

“Where you heading?
Get in you big dumb Norwegian.” he said.
“Your big square head gave you away. ”

A short ride to the edge of the mountains.
The foot hills fading green in the summer heat.
A book of poetry to carry his wife we receive

Then the canyon walls so steep
you cannot see the sky
riding in an RV for the climb.

Living in the greenest green,
hiking JD’s land
until we’re chased away.

Organic tuna melts
in the only restaurant
in town with no stop signs.

More hiking in elevations too high for your blood.

Then south to Coors
in Golden and
chili five ways in town.

Denver ahead, a total let down.
Restrictions and lack of transportation
pushed us back out onto the plains.

Storms in the distance but dropped off at a Y,
no water, no ride, as hours go by.

We walk to the house with the well in the yard.
No one is home but rattles greet us
at the pump handle we let them lie.

Finally as the sunsets a truck slows to us
and offers one in the cab and one in the back
as his oxygen tank lay on the front seat.

I opt for the back with a half of bottle of water
Inside, Bill drinks coffee from a thermos cap
My hair blows as highway speeds are exceeded

,into the night.

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