If you like poetry, but feel that it would be more exciting as a competitive sport, then QuickMuse is the site for you.
The concept: take two accomplished poets, give them a random topic, give them 15 minutes to write an on-the-fly composition, then sit back and watch them “riff away,” as the site puts it. In a live write-off, the two poets compose their works directly into the Web site where observers can watch poems unfold, keystroke-by-keystroke, as the author ponders, writes, deletes, contemplates, rewrites, and moves on. Don’t worry if you can’t make the live performance, however. QuickMuse’s very cool “playback” feature allows you to replay the evolution of each poem.
“QuickMuse is a cutting contest, a linguistic jam session, a series of on-the-fly compositions in which some great poets riff away on a randomly picked subject. It’s an experiment, QuickMuse, to see if first thoughts are indeed the best ones. We’re not entirely sure about this, but we suspect QuickMuse will bring readers closer to the moment of composition than they have ever been before.”
On July 25, Colby College Assistant Professor Adrian Blevins was one of those poets. She was matched up against award-winning poet David Rivard. The topic: a poem from Bill Knott entitled, “Advice from the Experts.”
Read, playback, and discuss the resulting poems: Adrian Blevins v. David Rivard.
Read more about professor Blevins: Making Noise, an article from Colby magazine