Claire Trévien

100 poems in one day & other oddities

Month: November, 2013

The Aftermath

The 100 poems challenge has been and gone, thank you so much to everyone who showed their support, threw titles, images, songs at me in the hope some would stick. I was overwhelmed by your loveliness and found out all sorts of things, from the name for button-phobia, to a detail in a Titian painting I had never paid attention to.

Thank you especially to the 46 of you who have donated to Refuge via my JustGiving page, I cannot believe that it raised £615! If you enjoyed the poems at all, or the sheer absurdity of the task, then please consider making a donation, the page will apparently stay up for another three months so there’s still time!

Update: I have now made the poems private, but the JustGiving page lives on. I have written a blogpost for the Poetry School about the experience. Thanks again for the support xx


Tomorrow, it begins.

Only a few hours to go…. I have bookmarked some websites which I expect will be key to managing this, I’ve got a spreadsheet with most of the titles that have been suggested to me on it (still a couple to add), and endless (almost) supplies of tea and cuppa soup are now in my bedroom along with a kettle. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be…!

A quick plug to my friend Agnes Davis who has done the same thing yesterday and raised an incredible amount for the Phillipines. Do read them here.

9 days to go

I am starting to get concerned about my recklessness in agreeing to do this, but it’s too late to back out now! I did some calculations and worked out that if I work without eating or breaks I need to produce a poem every 5 minutes.  I think the hardest thing will be to allow sub-par poems to exist on the internet, it’s a bit like flashing your knickers in public. Hopefully some of those fast-produced 100 poems can be re-worked into good poems eventually, that’s what I’m trying to tell myself…

I am also keeping in mind Jacqueline Saphra’s inspirational blog on her Canary Wharf residency: ‘I began to feel increasingly gung-ho about putting things up even when they weren’t quite finished, and I hadn’t laboured on them for weeks or months or years or even hours. It started to feel strangely therapeutic, all that letting go. Perhaps a bit like an artist who makes a quick sketch feels good, and just moves on to the next one.’


Anyway, keep the suggestions, prompts, titles etc coming. I am adding them to a spreadsheet to keep track of things on 22nd. I’m also keeping track of who suggested what so a dedication should come with each one. As you can see I have 9 so far, I need something closer to 100 to keep me going, so please send as many as you please!

The Challenge

On 22nd November I will be attempting to write 100 poems in one day. That’s more than I usually write in a year so I can’t help but think that I’m setting myself up for failure! I will be using this pop-up blog of mine for the challenge.

This is all Tim Clare’s fault, he’s been doing it for four years so he should know better really.

I would like there to be some higher goal to this, so alongside this challenge I will also be raising money for a charity close to my heart, Refuge.

If you’d like to help me with this challenge here’s what you can do:

  • Suggest poem titles. As many or as few as you want!
  • Order me some poems: i.e a villanelle on a polar bear called Strepsils, a triolet on Tesco value tinned tomatoes or anything else that you’d like. It can be a form, a topic, a technique, anything…
  • Help me reach my very modest JustGiving goal of £100. That’s £1 per poem. If we surpass that goal I will be over the moon of course.
  • Tweet me words of encouragement.

That’s it really! Please make use of the comment box or twitter for your suggestions – it’ll be easier for me to keep track in two weeks’ time…

Oh and for extra fun, I’m also hosting a Q&A with one of my favourite poets of all times that same day at 1pm. So to take that into account, I will start writing poems from 8am and finish at midnight (hopefully).