Rob Ostrom | OL02 | Fall 2021


For your final assignment, I want you to write a manifesto. These can be “any damn thing you want them to be,” but below I’ve listed some questions to help you along—you might want to limit yourself to writing no more than one sentence for each response. In the end, however, I hope the manifesto will reflect your unique self, the rare animal that is you. The question is, as Kafka asked, what will you do with your animal?

What is the status quo that you want to disrupt?
What is the world that you want to create?
What is the work that you want to do to help create that world?
Who do you want your work to speak to?
What contradictions do you want to embody?
What matters to you right here, and right now?
What does a poem stand for?
What is a poem?
What is a poem for?
What should a poem be?
What should it feel like?
What should a poem do?
How should it do that?
How does a poem relate to the world?
Why do you want to write it?
What is writing like?
Is poetry political?
Is all poetry political?
How can poetry change the world?
How will your poetry change poetry?

Some manifesto examples (keep in mind there are others in the Google Drive):

Annie Get Your Gun by DA Powell 

The Right to Manifest Manifesto by CA Conrad

We will not be bystanders by Choman Hardi 

1 Comment

  1. hafza ahmed

    I want to create a world where cheating in love doesn’t exist, a world where the word sadness doesn’t exist.
    What matters to me right now is the love I have, the love I give, the time I spend with the people I love.
    To me a poem stands for all the feelings that i can’t express to anyone, the words i don’t say out loud.
    To me a poem feels like a world that you create and the world you want to live in.
    To me a poem is an escape from the world I imagine to live in, the world that I can’t live in, all the feelings I can’t express to someone.

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