Archives for posts with tag: writing prompts

colby door
Front Door
by Joan Colby

Last month, we used the front door
To admit the rented hospital bed.
That door has a formal ambiance
That we acknowledge, but avoid.
It looks out to a neighbor’s cornfield in the east
Where early light gilds the winter stubble.

We prefer the porch door
Surrounded in spring by hostas and
Hung with baskets of begonias.
It opens to an enclosed porch
Where we store things: a shovel, a rake,
Bins of bird seed and dog kibble,
Hooks for our winter parkas and rain gear.
The porch keeps the weather outside
Where it belongs. It lets in the groceries
And our friends. We scrape our boots on the iron
Plate embedded in the stoop.

The last time we used the front door
Was last week when the men from the funeral home
Carried out your body on a gurney.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live in an old farm house where doors serve a utilitarian purpose. Our front door is rarely used except when a more direct access is needed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby’s Selected  Poems received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage was awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Her recent books include Her Heartsongs from Presa Press, Joyriding to Nightfall from FutureCycle Press, Elements from Presa Press, and Bony Old Folks from Cyberwit Press.

OVERVIEW: Summer is just around the corner, so let’s get in the swim with the Silver Birch Press BEACH & POOL MEMORIES Poetry and Prose Series. Most of us have vivid memories of times at the beach or community swimming pool — learning to swim (or trying to!), getting sunburned, hanging out with friends, making sandcastles, flirting with a stranger, or wearing a very wrong (or very right) swimsuit. We want to learn all the details!

PROMPT: Tell us about your beach and pool memories in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems).

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press BEACH AND POOL MEMORIES Poetry and Prose Series on our blog starting in July 2016 . We’ll also feature the work on Twitter and Facebook.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write “Beach” in subject line of email. If available, please send a photo of yourself at any age at the beach or pool — and provide a caption for the photo (when, where).


To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person (e.g., Michael Phelps lives in Maryland…”).

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. If available, send a photo of yourself at any age at the beach or pool — as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg). Also send a current photo to accompany your bio.

7. Email to — and put BEACH in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, July, 15, 2016.

IMAGE: Vintage photo purchased on ebay.