The Poetry Marathon

May 15, 2022

If National Poetry Month got you warmed up, writing a poem a day, the Poetry Marathon will take you to the next level: a poem an hour.

The idea is that as you push past bedtime, you push through your poetic limits. At the end of the Marathon, you’re well on your way to a chapbook’s worth of drafts. Participation, which is free, includes hourly prompts (optional) and as much crowd-sourced support and encouragement as you want.

There’s still time to get a head start on your sleep and do a little editing of your National Poetry Month poems, but definitely mark your calendar for the critical dates: sign up June 1 through June 19, and Marathon round the clock (or halfway round) on June 25, 2022. If you think you’d like to edit the annual chapbook of Marathon poems or submit artwork for the chapbook cover, those details will be available for ten days, starting tomorrow, May 16.

Find all the details on The Poetry Marathon site and on Facebook.

Low Down in the Blues*

March 20, 2022

2021 Walk Award
by Janette Lyn Rosebrook

A humpback breaches,
exposes the long pale accordion of its belly,
and splashes down.

A companion follows,
barnacle-starred flukes fan and slap
across the surface.

Listen for nocturne and solos,
some so low down in the blues
you cannot hear them.

A silvery calf
arches and spirals around its mother
like a dervish.

With whirling songs
the humpback trio turns and fades
into the depths.

The divers surface,
into the silent coda that follows
the passing of friends.

*Copyright © 2021 by Janette Lyn Rosebrook. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
Janette Rosebrook is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, where she spent long childhood days in the woods, eating salmonberries and redcaps, and muddying up her good shoes in search of frogs. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2019 and currently works at Western Washington University. Her work has appeared in Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim, Washington 129, and Solstice: Light and Dark of the Salish Sea.

“I started writing ‘Low Down in the Blues’ during the 2020 Poetry Marathon, an annual event founded by former Bellingham residents, Caitlin and Jacob Jans. I was inspired to finish the poem after good friends shared their incredible underwater photographs of a humpback whale family they encountered during a sailing trip. I was honored to read the poem at a memorial service for one of those friends. It was written in remembrance of my dear friend Bruce.”

Poetry Marathon

June 3, 2021

Signups are now open for the 2021 Poetry Marathon. The marathon, during which participants write 24 poems in 24 hours OR 12 poems in 12 hours (half-marathon), will begin on Saturday, June 26. Registration, which is free, is open through Saturday, June 19.

You could draft a chapbook of poems in 24 hours. Will this be a Marathon year?

Mark your calendar!

April 5, 2021

Mark your calendar and start getting some extra sleep: The Poetry Marathon is back! If you’re up for 24 poems in 24 hours (or 12 in 12), half and full marathons starts at 6:00am Pacific on Saturday, June 26, 2021, with a second half marathon starting at 6:00pm Pacific.

They’re also looking for cover images and an editor for the 2021 Poetry Marathon Anthology. All the details on The Poetry Marathon website and Facebook.

marathon time

May 19, 2020

The Poetry Marathon returns! Twenty-four poems in twenty-four hours (or twelve in twelve if you prefer) can loosen the bonds of normal and get you into uncharted waters. Plus, you could end up with enough poems for a chapbook.

The 2020 Poetry Marathon will start on 9:00am Eastern on the Saturday, June 27, and go till 9:00am on the 28th. Half marathoners can start at 9:00am OR 9:00pm Eastern on the 27th.

Signups will be open from Monday, June 8, until Tuesday, June 23. Mark your calendar and visit The Poetry Marathon for updates.

almost time…

May 15, 2019

The Poetry Marathon (24 poems in 24 hours) and half-marathon will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2019. If you’re thinking about participating (it’s completely free), sign up beforehand. Registration will be open June 3 – 12. Mark your calendar and watch for updates on The Poetry Marathon site or on Facebook.

Just think… a whole chapbook drafted in just 24 hours!

planning ahead…

January 4, 2019

If you start getting a few extra minutes of sleep each night, by June you should be ready for the 2019 Poetry Marathon. Yes, it’s back after a brief hiatus, and it’s a chance to shake up your complacent writing habits by writing 24 poems, once an hour for 24 hours.

Sign-ups begin in late May and the marathon starts at 9:00am Eastern time on Saturday, June 22, 2019, and goes till 9:00am Sunday, June 23. A half-marathon option is also available. Mark your calendar and watch for updates at The Poetry Marathon and on Facebook.

Poetry Marathon update

January 17, 2018

For those of you who are past participants in the Poetry Marathon and any of you who might have been considering jumping in on the next round, PM founder Caitlin Thomson has posted an Update on The 2018 Poetry Marathon.


July 19, 2017

If you are planning to participate in the 2017 Poetry Marathon or half-marathon, signups begin tomorrow, Thursday, July 20 at Noon Eastern Time, and continue through July 27. The full marathon will take place on Saturday, August 5, starting at 9:00 a.m. ET, and it will conclude at 9:00 a.m. ET on Sunday the 6th. The half marathon will run from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on August 5. Each poet must write and publish on the blog one poem per hour. To register, go to The Poetry Marathon website or watch for the link on the Poetry Marathon Facebook page.

planning ahead

May 29, 2017

Here’s an event for your later-this-summer calendar: The 2017 Poetry Marathon. This year’s Marathon will take place on August 5, starting at 9:00am ET and concluding at 9:00am ET on the 6th.

The idea is that during those 24 hours, you write and post a poem each hour. What you do during any remaining minutes of each hour is up to you, but some advance planning — snacks, prompts, marathon buddies — is a good idea. The marathon team posts hourly prompts and has a Facebook group for ongoing inspiration.

If staying awake (or diligent catnapping) for 24 hours is daunting, this year there will also be TWO half-marathons (12 poems in 12 hours): one beginning at 9:00am ET and concluding at 9:00pm ET on the 5th, the other beginning at 9:00pm ET on the 5th and concluding at 9:00am ET on the 6th.

Participation is free, but you must register in advance. Whichever version you do, one or two dozen poems drafted in such a short time is quite a remarkable result. You can sleep any time. Put it on your calendar and learn more at The Poetry Marathon.

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