Step Inside The Poetry Park

Welcome to The Poetry Park! My name is Susan Schoeffield and I will be your Park Guide. From January 2009 through December 2010, I edited a quarterly online poetry magazine called The Poetry Hut. I had a great time working with this website. Each issue contained some of my latest poetic efforts, a form challenge, seasonal poems from the public domain, a biography and poems from a Past Master and poetry submitted by some very gifted wordsmiths. During this period, I became caught up with several other projects, each one more time-consuming than the next. Because I made a commitment to assist a friend with his podcast and radio programs, after two years, I closed the doors to The Poetry Hut.

Over the ensuing years, I dabbled in my own podcasting and pursued personal broadcasting. Always, though, I found myself returning to my first love. The Poetry Hut resurfaced in several configurations at Blogspot until I finally went to WordPress to create a new home for my poetry, Words With Sooze. At the same time, my mind never strayed from the idea of creating a new poetry site along the same lines as The Poetry Hut, but more interactive.

Although I began building this site in July of 2014, I held back making it publicly available. When my favorite poetry prompt place, Creative Bloomings, closed the gates to its garden, with the sudden loss of that talented community, I decided it might be time to bring that idea to life. Thus, The Poetry Park is officially born.

Every week, two poetry prompts will be featured on the Home page (on Mondays and Thursdays). On those days, the prompts will be online by 9:00 AM EST. If something interferes with that proposed schedule, I’ll notify you in a special post.

The prompts will be selected at random from one of these six categories:

As You Like It
From A Distance
Opening Gambit
Short & Sweet
Six-Pack Odes
The Stylish Poet

These categories are defined on our Glossary page under the heading “Jump Starts.” You can submit your poem by posting it directly to the comment section for its corresponding prompt. If you prefer, you can provide a link to the poem on your website or blog and, of course, you can do both! Regardless of how you post, protect your work. Be sure to include your name at the end of the poem and include before it the copyright symbol [©] and/or the year it was written.

One of my worst flaws is not always fully participating at the prompt sites I visit. I often do a “drive by”: I post my poem and am not heard from again until the next prompt. Because I am hosting this site, I promise not to do that here and will comment on your work as timely as possible. I hope you will all do the same for each other. This site is defined as a “welcoming place where poets and poems connect.” What better way to do that than through encouraging our peers!

Do you remember what it felt like the first time you submitted a poem online? You poured your heart and soul into your piece. It was your baby. And then you put it out there, exposing it to a roomful of strangers. Respect is something I take very seriously. Please be mindful that we each write at different levels. A prompt can mean many different things to many different people. One reason we can write poetry is because we are sensitive to the world around us. Let’s all remember to extend that same sensitivity to those in this community when we offer feedback.

This site was created with you in mind. It’s a place where you can stretch your imagination, work off that latest attack of writer’s block, discover the work of others, and engage in conversations with fellow members of this great community of balladeers. I hope you’ll enjoy your visit to The Poetry Park. Explore your surroundings. Watch, and take part in, what happens when poets come out to play!

2 thoughts on “Step Inside The Poetry Park

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