Throwback Thursday: Writing Knights Grand Tournament III

Last year Writing Knights’ Grand Tournament was absolutely filled with epicness. The road was long, with twenty-some poets competing for the one shot at a full-length book deal with Writing Knights Press. The winding road lead to the basement of Mac’s Backs Books in Coventry, where the finalists performed their submissions for an audience and a panel of judges. Alexis-Rueal, D.L. Woure, J.M. Romig, Julie Marchand, Nkechi Edeh, and Serena Castells brought the fire with emotionally driven poetry that was raw and cutting.

Join us as we take a look back at the event and relive these powerful poems. Congrats again to the winner (spoiler alert). They really killed it up there.

Thanks to Writing Knights for putting on this event. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.


Shadow Dancer is Sometimes Called Mademoiselle Marionette

You gotta love Tracie Morell’s poetry.


What do these gestures mean?  It’s a loving hand

which manipulates these strings which signify

the puppet’s gestures.  If they are meaningless


the thought of a heart displaying what pumps

it being burdensome is too

much to bear, but if the actions were untimely

it was pure accident.  You see, I have no clue

what goes on outside my own skin, I can only imagine


how light illuminates different meaning in the intention

of movement, says Mademoiselle.  Can the divinity of love be

turned off when the Marionette is clearly tugged in gestures

trying to resemble the coursing of blood,

the expression of thought, but love is

illusion sometimes.  Puppets can be

put out of the mind so easily.  The unseen Puppetmaster can’t see

what the movements look like, Mademoiselle Marionette is

operated by the intuitive  pull of strings: the lines guiding

emotively.  To think that gestures of…

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Free books: 100 legal sites to download literature

Just English

The Classics

Browse works by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and other famous authors here.

  1. Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
  2. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database.
  3. Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online.
  4. Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
  5. Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
  6. Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
  7. Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
  8. Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here…

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Feature Poet: Dawn Shimp

Ohio Poet Dawn Shimp joins us via phone to talk recite a few poems for us and talk about a slew of topics. One being the poem-a-day challenge in April (NaPoWriMo).

Find out more about Dawn Shimp on Facebook at
Find more Destination Detour goodies at /
Follow JM Romig on Twitter @jmroaming

Watching Poetry: Francis, Wakefeild, and Watsky

Shawn and JM watch some of their favorite poetry videos on youtube.

The videos featured are as follows:

Slow Down Ghandi – Sage Frances (

Air Horn Into Bedrooms and Battle Scars – Buddy Wakefield (
Letter To My 16 Year Old Self – George Watsky (

and to play us out : Amplified feat. Rafael Casal (

Destination Detour: CoLaboratory 2: “Just Please Don’t Speak it Yet”

This week Shawn and JM made another collaboration video, because they are fun to do.

This poem’s prompt was “pickup the nearest book, go to page 29 and use the first 10 words you see to write a poem”. We each picked 5 from the nearest books. For Shawn, that was a Dylan Thomas collection, for me it was a book of Haiku about Zombies. This made for an interesting set of words.

The poem turned out to be a lesbian love poem. We are both proud of it.

Just Please Don’t Speak It, Yet
JM Romig & Shawn King

The harbor skyline unwrinkles
as the sun shrinks from a bright and brilliant gusher
into a dying glow-worm on the horizon

The city behind us settles in for the night
as the last of the working class zombies
punches her time card for the day.

On the park bench, looking over the river
we unwind, watching the smoke
from your cigarette carry
out towards the water.  

You and I,
and these drugged up
dropped out zombies

of this ghost-town harbor
are all that linger

I run my fingers across your palm,
putting on the voice of a wild gypsy
pretending to divine us a future
far from this place where our pumpkin
will forever be a chariot
our gowns, never again rags in the midnight hour.

You giggle, and cover your mouth,
as if joy is unbecoming of a lady.
I smile as if to say

“Come with me,
Ditch all these antiquated ideas of woman-ness.
Lets take off all our clothes,
and run naked and honest
into the dying sun
to express our forbidden love
in the daylight of some other city
far far away.” 

You let go of my hand,
and stare down at the pavement.
“You know this can’t last forever”
is what your eyes loudly express

“I know…”

For more Destination Detour hi-jinks, visit us at

“Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks.”

So much truth in this short article.

The Daily Post

If you write for an audience — be it millions of strangers or your mom — you inevitably think about how your words appear to others. Very often, this self-consciousness results in overstuffed prose and too-clever storytelling. Here to remind us of the virtue of simplicity in writing is Raymond Carver, a master of narrative and linguistic economy:

“I hate tricks. At the first sign of a trick or gimmick in a piece of fiction, a cheap trick or even an elaborate trick, I tend to look for cover. Tricks are ultimately boring, and I get bored easily, which may go along with my not having much of an attention span. But extremely clever chi-chi writing, or just plain tomfoolery writing, puts me to sleep. Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need to be the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer…

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