Prompt for Hour Two

Write a poem that contains at least three of following five phrases.

“good morning”

“be honest”

“treasure island”

“soft moonlight”

“after hours”

Prompt For Hour One

Good Morning (or afternoon, or evening, depending on your time zone) poetry marathoners.

Below is your first prompt. Feel free to use it now, come back to it later, or ignore it entirely. Good Luck!

Your first prompt is to write a poem set entirely underwater.

Updates Part 2! The 2015 Poetry Marathon

The second round of updates is here! First off we have a date when the sign up/application will go live. It will be June 2nd, otherwise known as next Tuesday.

Secondly, if you notice on the side our FAQ section and the About section have been updated.

Thirdly I can now share with you the designs for the poetry marathon certificates this year. The certificates will just be given out digitally this year as we are expecting a lot more participants but they will all be personalized with your name (and not say, W.H. Auden’s). The files will be high quality and easy to share digitally and/or print.



Updates Part One! The 2015 Poetry Marathon!

The 2015 Poetry Marathon will start on June 13th at 9am EST. This is a fact, but now we have another date and a lot of other information to reveal.

Participants can sign up for the half marathon or the full marathon like last year. Sign up should start within the next two weeks.

Sign up will happen through a short application process. Potential Marathoners will have to answer a very small number of questions and provide contact info. We will accept the bulk of applications, those rejected will be encouraged to re-submit. This process is just designed to eliminate anyone who is not seriously about completing the marathon or half marathon.

We will cap the number of participants at 500. We may not reach that number, but if we do, we will not accept additional participants for logistical reasons.

We will accept applications on a rolling basis, trying to respond to everyone within three days of their information being submitted.

At least a week before the Marathon everyone will be given access to a Facebook group (all previous participants are welcome to use last year’s group) and to a WordPress account on our main website. They will be encouraged to introduce themselves.

This year you can choose to be part of a group or groups on the Poetry Marathon website. There will be a Half Marathon group, a Full Marathon group, a few geographically oriented groups and you can even create your own group that can be public or private. The group page will make it easier to follow just a certain group of poets through the marathon. This is something we are experimenting with, so we are still trying to sort out the kinks here.

We are also very grateful to already have three volunteers to help us with the groups and with dispensing information. We are also looking for additional volunteers. Volunteers might find themselves in charge of a Facebook group, helping respond to applications, or addressing questions. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at

Regretfully we are not going to have an anthology this year. The main issue is that there will be too many participants for the anthology to include all participants.  We are also expecting our first child not long after the Marathon, so we will be rather busy. This makes the anthology logistically problematic. It may return next year but in a different, more curated form. We might run a featured poem (from the poetry marathon) program on the website for all of July.

We look forward to joining you in this year’s Poetry Marathon!

Thoughts, Ideas, & Questions about the Poetry Marathon 2015


The next Poetry Marathon already has a date. It will start at 9 am (EST) June 13th. However, there are other changes in the works.

Most of the changes we are making and all of the ideas we have are just theoretical at this point, so we are looking for feedback from past participants and from people considering future participation.

The major reason for the changes is that The Poetry Marathon is growing. Last year we had over 100 participants. That was with announcing it less than two full weeks in advance of the marathon and with minimal promotion. Obviously we are going to be more organized this year.

This year we are expecting a lot more participants. We are thinking around 500 is likely, although we are not sure what we will do if it exceeds that number (or if we will have to cap it) and so that affects many other things and will require some changes.

The three major changes we are anticipating are in the following areas: the Organization of the Website, the Organization of Facebook, and the Anthology. Below I will explain some of the things that need to change and how we are considering changing them

The Organization of The Website

All of the posts will still be made on one central blog. We feel very strongly about that. That in and of itself is a lot of work for Jacob particularly, as we grow there are more technical questions and needs.

Last year there was a scrollable list of names on the side and so it was easy to see everyone. That would not be possible or at least not be useful with many more participants, so we will have to find some way to organize people into groups.

A half marathon group would make sense but there will have to be more divisions than that, they may be made by geography, or by some other way, but it will have to happen. People might even be able to choose what groups they join or create their own groups.

The Organization of Facebook

Last year there was one big Facebook group for all the participants. It was a lot of fun. A great community was built. It is not going anywhere. Anyone who participated last year can still spend the marathon in that group. It will remain as is. However all the new participants will not be added to it.

New participants will be able to join groups based around geography or other factors. Old participants can also join these new groups. You can be a member of more than one group. We don’t know any of the details yet, but we know we will need volunteer leaders of the groups and even if there is a central group, we will need help answering questions, etc. If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity, please email us at

The Anthology

The Anthology cannot exist as it did last year. It was a lot of work and it is not sustainable with more people. Besides it is prohibitively expensive in terms of time and money.

However we are considering having an Anthology that would be edited by Jacob and myself (our work would not appear in it) and everyone who completed the marathon could submit two pieces for consideration in the chapbook. We would accept 25 poems.

We would have an 8 month turn around time. Everyone who contributed would get one copy.

It is hard because I loved putting together an anthology that reflected most of the participants work last year. But if the anthology is to continue in any form it will have to be different. Other suggestions are welcome, but we are leery about charging anyone anything, because we do not want to have to get into taxes or officially become a non-profit.

Also we will still have the personalized certificate but they will only be sent out digitally. However it is very easy to print them out, or have a good printer make a copy for you. The printing was very reasonable for us last year, the international shipping, not so much.

The other changes that we know will have to happen this year are twofold.

The first is that we are going to need volunteers this year to manage the groups (which should be minimal work) on facebook. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, email us at

The second is that registration will end earlier this year, so that we can organize people into group and figure out how best to prepare the site, etc. Registration might have to be two or even three weeks before hand.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of things that won’t change. There will still be an emphasis on community. There will still be a full marathon and a half marathon. There will still be the blog. There might not really be any obvious differences for most people.

Thank you for putting up with this whole, very long document. Please comment with feedback and ideas, or email us at

Congratulations Marathoners!



The 2014 Poetry Marathon is over!

If you just completed the Marathon – Congratulations! We are impressed.

You just wrote a lot of poems. An impressive and exhausting number. Hopefully you can give yourself a bonus today (like a dozen naps, or a really delicious slice of chocolate cake).

If you completed the marathon please send us an email (at with your name, email address, and mailing address (for us to mail the certificate of completion to). There is no rush. Recover first, then send us an email.

In the next week or so we will be in contact with you about the forthcoming anthology chapbooks. Only poets who completed the marathon will be eligible for inclusion in the chapbook. All poets who are in the chapbook will get a complimentary copy shipped to them.

Thank you for joining us in our poetry madness!

Prompt for Poem Twenty Four

This is the very last hour and the very last prompt. I am so impressed by everyone that made it this far!

The last prompt is very simple – write a self portrait.