a poem-a-day community workshop
for “I’m not a poet” poets
It’s my favorite time of year again! Starting February 1, I invite you to write with me every day for a month. Every day, I’ll send out writing prompts, inspo poems, and reasons to show up for your creativity, your practice, and yourself. The goal is not perfection. The goal is making something new every day, pushing past our own writing habits & comfort zones, and cheering each other on. Whether this is your first writing workshop or your 100th, you will write some unruly, messy, experimental, strange, magnificently bad poems. The hardest part is showing up. The rest is all play.
This year, we'll be back on Discord with THE DIY CONSERVATORY. This will be an online space that participants can access to share poems, inspiration, and hype. Creativity is better in community, so you’ll also have the usual small-group spaces where you can share your unedited, embarrassing, beautiful “bad poems” and support each other in your daily practice. There will also be a digital reading at the end of the session for folks who want to share their work!
BAD POET is a sliding scale workshop with a low minimum cost. In the payment bar, enter any amount $10+.
What is sliding scale? Here's a more detailed breakdown:
$10 // this is the most affordable option for a month of prompts, community writing, and hype
$40 // suggested payment*
$60+ // if you have a stable and/or high income, a larger payment helps me facilitate this community while being a working artist! A workshop of this size is a big undertaking and I intentionally make the minimum ask low so that anyone can join.
*Why has the suggested payment gone up? I'm an artist and educator living in NYC, and this workshop is typically my steady work in January/February! I'm raising the ask to account for cost-of-living increases and to offset some work I lost due to injury last year.
Note: I'm appreciative of whatever amount you're able to pay. The amount you choose to pay for the workshop will not determine what group you are in, and there are no tiers. We're all in it together.
ABOUT THE CREATOR & FACILITATOR
Katie Kay Chelena is a theater artist, educator, and poet from Appalachia. She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, where she is a member of the award-winning experimental theater collective The New York Neo-Futurists. As an educator, Katie is the head of theater at North Carolina Governor's School West, and has worked as a teaching artist in NYC schools and communities for 8+ years. She most recently taught poetry, theater, and devising with BAM and Ping Chong + Company. She was a Guest Artist at Pace University in 2023. Katie is a bisexual punk, a builder of community connection and catharsis, a street cat mom, a survivor, an Aquarius, and a leftist hillbilly. She holds a MA in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch and a BA in Dramatic Art from UNC Chapel Hill.
WHAT PAST BAD POETS HAVE TO SAY...
"I had gone over a year without a regular writing practice and was starting to think maybe I just had nothing to say. This workshop showed me that it was all right there, bubbling under the surface--I just had to sit my butt in a chair and start writing. Katie's daily emails and writing prompts were inspiring and non-judgmental, keeping me going even through the tough parts, and reading the writing of others in the workshop helped refill my creative well. Several weeks after the workshop is over, I'm still writing (almost!) every morning."
"It helped me get into a flow state of writing and now I am writing all the time in so many ways I didn't even know existed."
"Katie's poetry challenge BAD POET arrived at the perfect time for me. It jolted me out of old modes of thinking and inspired me to play with new forms. Katie has a wonderful capacity to hold love and space for every participant, wherever they are in their creative process, and is refreshingly expansive and welcoming in her vision of what constitutes artistry. I felt like I had the confidence to call myself an artist by the end of the challenge, and was more energized than ever to create for the sake of creation."
"The only good thing that happens in February. Katie's workshop transforms poetry writing from an intimidating, opaque exercise into a playful and affirming collective effort."
"What time do we meet? I have a busy work schedule / I'm not on Eastern Standard Time / I'm a late night writer!"
- BAD POET is meant to easily fit into your daily practice- there is not a daily meeting time. The daily prompts and exercises will be sent out before noon EST, and you write whatever comes out and whatever you have time for. You'll have a small group of fellow writers to share your daily poem with, not to edit or critique, but to have a bit of support, community, and accountability. Daily poems don't have a hard deadline- just share them by your "end of day." Maybe you're an afternoon writer and you post early- and maybe you're sharing a screenshot of your notes app ramblings at 3am. Both are perfect. I'll also do my best to sort folks in similar time zones together if you're looking for more interaction!
"I'm nervous! I have never written / shared poems before, and I feel weird about sharing with a group!"
- Hey, I hear you! It's a vulnerable thing to share writing for the first time. BAD POET is a great place to explore the edge of those nerves and that vulnerability because we are not trying to write the greatest poems on the face of the earth ready to publish tomorrow and win a pulitzer the next day. This is a space of experimentation, play, and banishing the idea that everything we make must be perfect- or even good. Let that free you. See what happens when you allow yourself to write from a place of curiosity and embracing mess. The folks you're sharing with will be in that space with you- collaborators, comrades, and if past years can be an example- new friends.
"Soooooo like how'd this thing start?"
- I'm an Aquarius. No really, that's how this all started. My birthday is January 27, and for many years I've tried to find ways to feel connected to friends all over the world when my birthday rolls around. I've done photo scavenger hunts, I've asked for travel videos, I've made collective poems where people contribute a line each, and a few years ago, I asked people on instagram to write with me for the month following my birthday. This snowballed into the BAD POET workshop I run today.
I'M IN. HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Yes, intrepid poet, you're in!
Workshop participants will receive the link to THE DIY CONSERVATORY upon signing up. I will send out periodic check-ins leading up to the workshop. I highly recommend downloading Discord right when you sign up! https://discord.com/
On Jan 31, you'll meet your writing groups for the month, introduce yourself, and have a short warm-up prompt before we really dive in.
On Feb 1, we write. And we don't stop.
Reach out if you have any questions!