April 15: scrap-heap cento
mining the notebook
Hello, all! We’re halfway through the month. How are you doing?
A daily, or even regular, writing practice is a really high bar. Today’s exercise is designed as a kind of mid-month pause—a chance to take a look at what you’ve written so far and build something out of those snippets in a very low-stress way.
Write a scrap-heap cento. Centos are traditionally made up lines from other people’s poems, but for this version, I’m going to suggest you mine your own notebooks (or digital files or discarded drafts) for scraps. Highlight or retype any lines or images or sentences that speak to you, then collage them together. What’s liberating about the cento as a form is that it frees you from needing to make sense. You don’t need transitions or connections or explanations. Just place those scraps alongside each other and see what happens.
How is your writing going? I’d love to hear from you. You can always reply to this email, comment below, or find me on twitter (@nancy_reddy) and instagram (@nancy.o.reddy).