Writing Prompt: Listening

in Writing Prompt by

So you all have heard that chestnut about poetry being for the ear… Well, I’m going to take that a step further. As someone who hates his voice, and hates reading his work in public even more, this may be a trial by fire for me. Maybe you’ll agree?

Here’s my proposition to you: Every time you write a new poem, record yourself reading it. I have started to put all of my poetry audio files on my phone, so I can listen to them as I drive.

A funny thing happens when you listen to your work aloud. You start to hear where you stumble on words, where your voice becomes more mellifluous, where you can cut redundancies, and so on.

I’ve been driving with 30 minutes-worth of poems, for the last 2 weeks, and I already know which ones I’m sending for publication, and which ones I’m giving more TLC to. When you read the work, a clear ending will often present itself. Even if it’s not the ending you had planned when you wrote it.  

Let me know how it goes! –Josh Medsker (

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