The 100 Poem Challenge

November 7, 2011


One of the wonderful things about Twitter is discovering new and interesting people that you would probably never have come across in real life. Jen Campbell, 24, who goes by @aeroplanegirl on Twitter, is a poet, short story writer and bookseller from London who I first became aware of through her hilarious collection of “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” which she periodically tweets about (and which is now actually coming out as a book next Spring).

This past weekend, Jen set herself the challenge of writing 100 poems over the course of the weekend to raise money for charity, which will go to research centres looking for cures for degenerative eye conditions, and further research into EEC Syndrome. The inspiration for her poems came from tag words that people could suggest, which she didn’t look at in advance but picked her next poem ideas from as she went along. Each new poem was posted on the 100 Poem Challenge blog , and all chosen tags were credited to the whoever suggested them.

I followed Jen’s challenge with interest over the weekend, as she made her way from ‘Snow’ at #1, through tags such as ‘Giraffe’, ‘Tautology’ and ‘Awkward’, all the way to a very apt ‘Ending’ at #100. It probably doesn’t take much guess work that I submitted the tag ‘Museum’, and I was delighted that Jen picked this for her poem #2:


There is a place on the corner
of Dean Street, where you can
catalogue souls in boxes. Lift them
up as shirts and iron them.

                 We’ve heard
whispers on city ghost tours, on feet,
of people who fell down there.
Who gave up their words by accident
for a paper thin curator. Found themselves
filed on all four corners
and couldn’t get back out.

[tag word: MUSEUM – from @jennifuchs]

First of all, big congratulations to Jen for completing the challenge! I really enjoyed reading all the poems, and many thanks again for picking ‘Museum’ as one of them. The lines for donations are still open until 30 November, so I think you should all check out Jen’s site and if you like the poems as much as I did, think about making a donation!


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