Chapbook: A Portable Paradise Prom(pt)

FREE e-chapbook! (Download below). I’m delighted to say it includes two of my poems. Before I say anything else, I must say: Roger Robinson‘s book, A Portable Paradise, won the coveted TS Eliot Prize in 2020. Wow.

I got the idea for this #PortableParadisePrompt after I tweeted a photo of a hand-written copy I’d made of his iconic poem, which I’d written out 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!!!

Whaaat. I took his advice and wrote my own Paradise poem. It wasn’t much later that I led Pernessy Poets Workshop participants through the same prom(pt).** The founder of these online workshops, based in Switzerland, is the delightful poet, Elizabeth Boquet.

There was magic in the air that day. The prom(pt) took off like fireworks! We decided, as a group, the direction our Paradise Project must take: a chapbook. It took me a few months to design and format the book, so today’s publication is a milestone. I’m proud of how it turned out (see below).

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 for over two years. 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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