What is Medskerpedia? I asked the source to go to himself for some answers. Learn all about Josh Medsker’s secret poetry experiment in his interview with himself below.
MEDSKER vs MEDSKER
I recently had a discussion with myself about my poetry project, Medskerpedia. Every day I read an entry from The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Then I write a poem that’s based on that day’s entry. All of the poems are housed in a secret Facebook group, so the work can be sent out to literary magazines without fear of being considered previously published. Other writer friends have joined to comment on the work and post their own.
Josh’s Monkey Mind: First of all… Why are you bothering? No one reads poetry anymore!
Josh: Well, that’s not totally true… but…
JMM: Name a popular poet.
J: Billy Collins.
JMM: Outside of college English departments.
J: Umm… Kanye?
JMM: Debatable. Anyway, why are you putting so much effort into work no one will read?
J: Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think it will be intense and an extremely valuable creative experiment. So, for an example…
JMM: I liked this idea better when it was called Julie and Julia.
J: Oh my god, can you just shut up for one second? And let me explain?
JMM: Go ahead, explain. I’m listening.
J: Forget it. Just forget it.
JMM: Don’t be a baby. You write a poem every day from this encyclopedia…
J: Yes. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Each poem is based on the entry for that day.
So for an example, the other day the entry was Argentinian Poetry, so wrote my version of a Gaucho’s song…
JMM: Hmm… It’s not the worst idea you’ve ever had. So how long is this going to take? And how are you going to screw it up?
J: Well, I’m just over 100 days in, a little behind… still plugging away, and coming up with a lot of work that challenges me! There’s so much I don’t know.
JMM: That is true. And you are behind… I give it until June.
J: Uh huh. It should take me well into the summer of 2019.
JMM: Woah! You think you’re up for that?
J: I’m ignoring you. Readers, if you want to join the Medskerpedia group, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Then I will add you as a Facebook friend, and add you to the group. It’s turned into a great critique group!
JMM: I know what this is… You just want more people to like your stuff online… You just want praise.
J: That’s it. Done. Not saying another word to you.
Josh Medsker is a New Jersey-based writer and educator, originally from Alaska. His work has appeared in many publications, including: The Anchorage Press, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Austin Chronicle, The Brooklyn Rail, and We’ll Never Have Paris. He has work forthcoming in Criminal Class Review and Xerography Debt.
Since 2001, he has published the literary/culture blog Twenty-Four Hours. He teaches writing in the NYC-area and lives with his wife Leigh, and their brood of furry children in Bayonne, NJ. He loves comments and moonlit dinners and long walks on the beach.