Where would I be without my Badu? All of us have artists whose work has helped mold us into the people we are today. Today’s blessings come from two amazing multi-talented women I admire deeply, Shira E & Chinaka Hodge. The following prompts are inspired by two pieces of work that pay homage to musical artists in innovative ways. Enjoy!
- list 5 musical artists (or if your not a music head, list athletes, fictional characters, historical figures, etc.) who help you survive / who are your heroes
- list places you frequent, places that are a part of your daily routine, places where you allow yourself to be vulnerable, places where you feel safe, places you usually go alone, places that are scary
- list 5 challenges you currently face or have recently faced, challenges can be big or small (college loans, passing calculus, getting along with your mother, too many pimples, death of a loved one, etc.)
read: “I’m Sitting with Bjork in my Bathtub” by Shira E choose a place from your list, go there with one of your favorite artists & write a poem about what happens. what does the artist do in this place? how does their personality/artistry affect you & alter this place? ask the artist for advice about your challenge & see what they offer up in response.
- create a wordbank inspired by one of the favorite artists from your list. include words from lyrics, quotes, colors, sounds & smells that remind you of them, etc.
- do some research on the life of the artist. go a little deeper than wikipedia & try to find a video interview or well-written article about them.
read: “Small Poems for Big” by Chinaka Hodge write a poem for this artist using elements from your list, possibly incorporating memories you have involving this artist’s work or lessons they’ve taught you. to provide yourself some limitation, invent your own form (or alter an existing form) in honor of this artist, as Chinaka did with B.I.G.: “24 haikus, one for each year he lived.” Ideally the form should have something to do with the artist or their work. For example, if I was writing about Drake, I might write six 6 line stanzas, maybe even get crazy and do 6 syllables in each line. If I was writing about Erykah, I might write a pantoum using found lines from her lyrics. Etc. etc. etc. have fun with it!
Vibe out to some of my favorite artists with this soundtrack for writing featuring Bjork, FKA Twigs, Sia, Kimbra, Ibeyi, Yuna, Wet, Chargaux, & more: listen here