Life/Lines

Creative work by the faculty, staff and students of Washington University and the greater community beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020

Read Our Life/Lines

During the month of April (National Poetry Month), writers from all corners and walks of life participated in Life/Lines, a daily opportunity for creative expression. Uniting behind a common prompt, we wrote more than 1,100 short poems and in the process made our own community despite our isolation. Together, we created a vibrant and lasting archive of how our faculty, staff, students and friends experienced these most unprecedented of times.

 


    Poems submitted for April 1     Poems submitted for April 2     Poems submitted for April 3     

    Poems submitted for April 6     Poems submitted for April 7     Poems submitted for April 8

    Poems submitted for April 9     Poems submitted for April 10     Poems submitted for April 13

    Poems submitted for April 14     Poems submitted for April 15     Poems submitted for April 16

    Poems submitted for April 17     Poems submitted for April 20     Poems submitted for April 21

    Poems submitted for April 22     Poems submitted for April 23     Poems submitted for April 24

    Poems submitted for April 27     Poems submitted for April 28     Poems submitted for April 29

    Poems submitted for April 30

     


    Prompts

     

    April 30

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Future
         Blaze
         Treasure
         Novel
         Climb

    Today’s words were contributed by your Life/Lines project team: Jean Allman, the J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University, and Kathleen Fields, the center’s publications and communications editor.

    Poems submitted for April 30

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 30 participants.


    April 29

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Pines
         Frets
         Awake
         Disintegration
         Memory

    Today’s words were contributed by Steve Givens, who retired as associate vice chancellor and chief of staff to Chancellor Mark Wrighton at Washington University last June and now spends his days as a freelance writer, poet, songwriter, blogger and spiritual director exploring the intersection of creativity and spirituality. He writes a blog at GivensCreative.com.

    Poems submitted for April 29

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 29 participants.


    April 28

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Murmur
         Meadow
         Leaf
         Leave
         Least

    Today’s words were contributed by Wayne Fields, the Lynne Cooper Harvey Chair Emeritus in the Department of English at Washington University and author of What the River Knows: An Angler in MidstreamThe Past Leads a Life of Its Ownand A Union of Words: A History of Presidential Eloquence.

    Poems submitted for April 28

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 28 participants.


    April 27

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         City
         Open
         Public
         Design
         Displaced

    Today’s words were contributed by Tila Neguse, project coordinator for The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative, a partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and Sam Fox School.

    Poems submitted for April 27

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 27 participants.


    April 24

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Remote
         Shelter
         Digital
         Breathe
         Distance

    Today’s words were contributed by Treasure Shields Redmond, a published poet, master educator, community arts organizer, and entrepreneur. She is author of chop: a collection of kwansabas for fannie lou hamer.

    Poems submitted for April 24

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 24 participants.


    April 23

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Aspen
         Shadow
         Fever
         Hidden
         Promise

    Today’s words were contributed by alumna and poet Melissa Gurley Bancks, who earned master’s degrees in English and teaching from Washington University and an MFA from UMSL. She is former director of WashU’s Howard Nemerov Writing Scholars and former managing editor of River Styx.

    Poems submitted for April 23

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 23 participants.


    April 22

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Broadband
         Fox
         Hawk
         Purell
         Companion

    Today’s words were contributed by Barbara Thomas, a member of the Washington University Board of Trustees and retired senior vice president and chief financial officer for HBO Sports, New York. She is also an NYC-based actress who performs in theater, television and film productions.

    Poems submitted for April 22

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 22 participants.


    April 21

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Petal
         Opal
         Hallway
         Swish
         Gleam

    Today’s words were contributed by the Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellows in the Class of 2020, based in the Center for the Humanities.

    Poems submitted for April 21

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 21 participants.


    April 20

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Breath
         Last
         Rage
         Close
         Fortune

    Today’s words were contributed by Rebecca Wanzo, associate professor of women, gender and sexuality studies. In July, she will begin her position as professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University. Her new book, The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, was released in April 2020.

    Poems submitted for April 20

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 20 participants.


    April 17

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Soft
         Glass
         Honey
         Gust
         Rest

    Today’s words were contributed by Cheeraz Gormon, author of In the Midst of Loving and founder and executive director of Sibling Support Network, an organization dedicated to people who have lost blood-related or fictive kin siblings to violent crime.

    Poems submitted for April 17

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 17 participants.


    April 16

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Sunlight
         Ceiling
         Nostalgia
         Bleak
         Mother

    Today’s words were contributed by Ray Hartmann, founder of The Riverfront Times (and columnist), co-founder and panelist for 33 years on KETC’s Donnybrook and host of the KTRS show St. Louis in the Know with Ray Hartmann.

    Poems submitted for April 16

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 16 participants.


    April 15

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Silent
         Oxygen
         Truth
         Dedication
         Owl

    Today’s words were contributed by Barbara A. Schaal, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Poems submitted for April 15

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 15 participants.


    April 14

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Gift
         Fall
         Brief
         Still
         See

    Today’s words were contributed by undergraduate students in German 4105: Creative Writing? In German? Geht klar!, co-taught by writer and Professor of the Practice Matthias Goeritz (Comparative Literature) and Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow Claire Ross (Germanic Languages and Literatures).

    Poems submitted for April 14

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 14 participants.


    April 13

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Star
         Stairway
         Memory
         Hour
         Light

    Today’s words were contributed by Ignacio Infante, associate professor of comparative literature and acting director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University. His new book, Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven, a poetry co-translation of an avant-garde prose poem by Chilean writer Vicente Huidobro, comes out April 24.

    Poems submitted for April 13

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 13 participants.


    April 10

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Blue
         Waves
         Sky
         Talk
         Whale

    Today’s words were contributed by Jane Ellen Ibur, an arts educator and the Poet Laureate for the City of St. Louis. She is most recently the author of The Little Mrs./Misses.

    Poems submitted for April 10

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 10 participants.


    April 9

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Start
         Travel
         Breeze
         Jostled
         Life

    Poems submitted for April 9

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 9 participants.


    April 8

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Grateful
         Spring
         Walk
         Water
         Isolation

    Today’s words were contributed by Washington University Chancellor Andrew Martin.

    Poems submitted for April 8

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 8 participants.


    April 7

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Forget
         Shoulders
         Fading
         Disguises
         Rock

    Poems submitted for April 7

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 7 participants.


    April 6

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Brick
         Light
         River
         Small
         Feet

    Poems submitted for April 6

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 6 participants.


    April 3

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Jelly
         Branches
         Animal
         Window
         Staple

    Today’s words were contributed by poet Aaron Coleman, author of Threat Come Close and current PhD candidate in the Comparative Literature program at Washington University.

    Poems submitted for April 3

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 3 participants.


    April 2

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Concert
         Rebel
         Iron
         Forward
         Tower

    Poems submitted for April 2

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 2 participants.


    April 1

    Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.

         Room
         Field
         Brown
         Left
         Dash

    Poems submitted for April 1

    Follow the link above to read the poems from our April 1 participants.

     

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