Poem 11, Hour 11

Hannigans Pass

We exhale into the canyon, grateful
for the downhill, for the promise of a campsite one bend

away. An hour later, out of breath and heaving
we start the actual decent.

We arrive to a steady stream, and a quiet
campsite, just us and the birds, the threat

of bear, always somewhere nearby. We
eat anyways, have a fire, and I finish

a book about going insane in nature, because
of man, and then as twilight arrives, we fall

asleep under the easy orange sweep of our tent,
and wake at 2 AM, to screams, angry

or joyous, I’m not sure.
You grab the bear spray

and sit upright, they settle slowly
around us with loud voices and feet.

People, at least 8, a little drunk maybe, setting
up camp in the dark, a few feet away.

We fall asleep again eventually and wake to
silence, an empty campground again

a little more litter filled than it was,
when we went to sleep.


Hi! I’m Caitlin Jans, I did my first marathon a decade ago when Jacob and I came up with the idea. We’ve taken a few years off during that decade to have kids, but I’ve done the half or full marathon most years since then.

This year I plan on doing the half marathon, but I said that last year, and 24 hours later I had 24 poems, so we’ll see what happens.

I write a lot in modern form. I don’t have a particular vision for the poems this year, other than I plan to write them at home, with Jacob, as I usually do

The Poetry Marathon Anthology Update

The Poetry Marathon Anthology have closed to submissions for the year. July 25th was the last chance to submit.

If you have any questions about the status of your submission, please email poets@thepoetrymarathon.com, and Caitlin will double check.

We are very grateful for all the wonderful submissions we received this year. Acceptances have started to go out. All authors should hear back from Editor Cynthia Hernandez, within two weeks of submitting. We are very grateful for her hard work.

Hour Twenty-Four

The Covid Years (a golden shovel from Chen-Chen’s I invite My Parents to a Dinner Party.

Can this be called orchestrating
a family? If this day and every
day there are teeth brushed, and the kids watch the sidewalk for movement.
A year without strangers, has blessed them with a love of
anyone they do not spend every day with, a
problem for our future selves to deal with. We call supper proper
every time the kids eat 5 bites without leaving the family
table. Allowing your kids to go feral is as
much a part of the pandemic as masks, if
you ask the parents I know. A
part of a grand tradition no one planed on – our pair

of girls with their bare feet and the laughs of
lions are no more scary
in the scheme of things, than the whole future, spread out like a map – known yet
unknown. One can only connect so deeply
with a place they have never been incompetent.

Hour Twenty One


I tried everything to hurry my
second daughter up. My body porcupined

by needles every few days,
I did 200 squats a day in an apartment

with no air conditioning. When
we walked, I would think with

every step – come now. A week
passed the due date, I woke to a

stillness inside me at 1 in the
morning. I drank ice cold water

and sat on the sofa, watching the
timer on my phone count down

to when I was supposed to call the hospital.
I woke my husband first and we

spent the next few minutes marching
instead, till my daughter kicked

me, awake again in the world of me.
Gratitude filling every

part of my body. By the time I settled
in the bed beside my husband,

I could tell our daughter was on her way,
more soft-footed than she is now.

Hour Seven: A Sevenling

A sevenling

The birds sing in the dark because there is no rain.
One room over, under yellow quilts, my child cries
out, then returns to sleep. On my side of a different bed

I toss like salad, pain different with each rotation – a
jolt on the back, a stab on the side, internal lightning.
if the birds were crows, our moods would be in alignment.

The moon above us, is no different than the pit of a peach.

Poetry Marathon Plans 2021

Hi, I’m Caitlin and I am the co-founder of The Poetry Marathon.

For health/small children reasons I’m on the fence this year, but I am excited for the marathon itself, even if I’m not sure if I’ll complete a whole or a half.

This is my plan for the half marathon. If I end up doing the whole I will do the second half free-verse/without a schedule.

My plan for the half is to do a formal poem every hour.

I plan to start off with a Sestina-Bob (which is a sestina where every line and the refrains end in the same word, maybe Bob, maybe Tree, whatever you want really).

Hour two is going to be a golden shovel.

Hour three is Pantoum focused.

Hour four will feature a zuihitsu.

Hour five will be all about the gigan.

Hour six will be a ghazal.

Hour seven will be a sevenling

Hour eight is all about the haibun.

Hour nine will be the bop

Hour ten will be a poem an epistolary poem.

Hour eleven is hopefully going to be my first ode.

Hour twelve will be an Aubade.

Feel encouraged to use any (or none) of these forms this year. If you are interested in using other forms there are many metered and unmetered to chose from including sonnets, the duplex, the skinny, haiku, and limerick’s.


There will be a 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology

Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor there will be a 2019 Marathon Anthology!

All individuals who complete the 2019 Poetry Marathon and Half Marathon are eligible to submit to the anthology. Submissions will open about two weeks after the Marathon is over.

Jennifer Faylor a poet, editor, and past poetry marathon participant will be the editor of the 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology. We are very excited in every way for this to happen!

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.