In May 2020 the Arc Poetry Magazine prompt for the Arc Award of Awesomeness was to write a poem about the global pandemic but without using any words directly related to the pandemic. I didn’t enter the May contest but the idea stayed lodged in my mind. I had told myself I wouldn’t write pandemic poems but of course I did. I found the Arc May prompt very compelling and began to write new poems without directly using any pandemic words (including “Blur” which was published in The Time After edited by Miriam Dunn and published by the League of Canadian Poets).
The December 2020 prompt was to write a poem about colour. Susan Gillis won with her gorgeous poem “Ocean Blue” which you can read here.
Sadiqa de Meijer and the Arc Poetry Magazine Board also selected three runners-up:
- “Sambro” by Eleonore Schönmaier
- “Saint Valentine’s Day” by Jeff Parent
- “The Colours of Pain” by Amanda Earl
“Sambro” is one of my pandemic poems written without using any of the words listed in the Arc May prompt and also connected to the concept of colour for the December prompt. You can now also read this poem under the updated title “Sky” here.
Thank you to Arc Poetry Magazine for the inspirational writing prompts!