The "duplex" is a poetic form invented by Jericho Brown— it is sewn together through repetition and couplets. It is a house with two addresses. It is the result of Brown's question, "What happens when that wall is up and what happens when we tear it down? How will we live together? Will we kill each other? Can we be more careful?"
In celebration of The Poetry Society of New York's Salon Series ft. Jericho Brown on December 8th, we invite you to create a duplex poem of your own for a contest that will be judged by Brown. The winner will be offered either a reading slot at the Salon or the opportunity to have their poem published on PSNY's website.
Here are the parameters of the form:
- Write a ghazal that is also a sonnet that is also a blues poem of 14 lines, giving each line 9 to 11 syllables.
-The first line is echoed in the last line.
- The second line of the poem should change our impression of the first line in an unexpected way.
- The second line is echoed and becomes the third line.
- The fourth line of the poem should change our impression of the third line in an unexpected way.
- This continues until the penultimate line becomes the first line of the couplet that leads to the final (and first) line.
- For the variations of repeated lines, it is useful to think of the a a’ b scheme of the blues form.
Here's an example poem:
A poem is a gesture toward home.
It makes dark demands I call my own.
Memory makes demands darker than my own:
My last love drove a burgundy car.
My first love drove a burgundy car.
He was fast and awful, tall as my father.
Steadfast and awful, my tall father
Hit hard as a hailstorm. He’d leave marks.
Light rain hits easy but leaves its own mark
Like the sound of a mother weeping again.
Like the sound of my mother weeping again,
No sound beating ends where it began.
None of the beaten end up how we began.
A poem is a gesture toward home.
If you're interested in attending the Salon and hearing Jericho read from his book The Tradition, tickets are available here. If you become a member of The Poetry Society of New York for just $5/month, you'll receive two complimentary tickets!
Milk Press seeks poetry and visual art that steeps itself in identity, performance, social critique, cultural contemplation, body politics, empathy, and everything within and beyond. Underrepresented voices and emerging artists are in particular encouraged to apply. We believe strongly in diversity and inclusion and strive to ensure that our authors and artists represent the variety of cultures, backgrounds, and unique viewpoints that shape our world.
Milk features one poem and one piece of visual art per week on Spilt Milk, our press' blog. Please limit your poetry submissions to 5 poems.
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Clickbait, the latest project of The Poetry Society of New York, is a blog designed to shamelessly attract attention to poetry. Using devices typically reserved for online “clickbait” like listicles, how-to’s, trends, SEO, hashtags, hyperlinks, hyperbole, sensationalism, puff, and fluff, the poets at The Poetry Society of New York are having a little fun: creating literary content, criticism, and entertainment that reaches outside the established poetry community to encourage wider audiences for poets and their work.
No length or format requirements. We publish a couple of posts per week. Feel free to contact us with questions!
Thank you for your interest in applying to become a cast member of The Poetry Brothel. Artists from underrepresented communities are in particular encouraged to apply.
In your application, you will need to include your professional name; a cover letter; the city where you reside, a link to your website, portfolio, or Instagram page; your character name & bio (this need not contain any factual or professional information); at least one headshot or other photo of yourself; and an audition video. If you are applying to be one of the poets, please also include 5 pages of your poetry as a PDF.
In your cover letter, we encourage you to explain your interest in The Poetry Brothel and your background as an artist and performer. If you have any experience working in the sex industry, please also feel safe to mention it here.
The audition video should be between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. Feel free to shoot the video on your iPhone; we don't need anything professionally produced. We simply want to get a sense of your personality, style, and voice while seeing a little bit of what you do. If you are a poet, perform a poem! If you are a dancer, we'd love to see a routine. If you are a singer, sing for us. If you read tarot, show us a sample reading.
Good luck, and we look forward to exploring your work!