Chapbook: A Portable Paradise Prom(pt)

FREE e-chapbook. Collected poems from a writing workshop I led with Swiss-based Pernessy Poets (Download below) based on Roger Robinson’s poem, “A Portable Paradise.” I’m delighted it includes two of my poems. Roger Robinson‘s book, A Portable Paradise, won the coveted TS Eliot Prize in 2020.

The idea for this #PortableParadisePrompt came to me after I tweeted a photo of copy I’d handwritten of his iconic poem, to gift to my family to carry with them in their pockets or purses. Mr. Robinson saw my tweet and replied,

You should write a poem based on it. Use the framework and add in your own biographical details. Try it!!!

I took his advice and wrote my own Paradise poem. Soon afterward I led said workshop participants through the same prom(pt). The founder of these online workshops is the delightful poet, Elizabeth Boquet.

There was magic in the air that day. The prom(pt) took off like fireworks. As a group, we decided the direction our Paradise Project must take: a chapbook.

I challenge you to write your own Paradise poem. Download the e-book below to get an idea how much freedom you can find writing yours as you read each person’s take on the prom(pt). When you do write it, please post: #PortableParadisePrompt and #ParadiseProject on social media. We’d love to read it!

A Portable Paradise, by Roger Robinson, is available at indie booksellers, and Amazon. Published by Peepal Tree Press.

-E-book design & format: Gwendolyn Soper. Author photograph, used with permission of Roger Robinson.

NOTA BENE: All roads lead back to the poet Billy Collins and his Poetry Broadcast. I learned about the book, A Portable Paradise, from Ian Aitken, a minister in Aberdeen, Scotland (and viewer of said broadcast). Thank you, Ian. He is also the founder of The Lockdown Poets, a group of poets to which I’ve belonged since early 2020. I also met Elizabeth Boquet via Billy Collins’ broadcast.

**I got the idea to call it a prom(pt) from the Southampton Writers Workshop I attended the year before when I took a class from Billy Collins. The workshop concluded with a Prom(pt) for all faculty and students. I suspect Christian McLean had something to do with it. We dressed up for the event and had a blast.

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