At the end of every month-long Writer’s Regimen, participants are invited to submit up to three of their best regimen-inspired pieces for a chance at publication in SER Online. It was difficult for our editorial staff to narrow down the submissions we received following February’s Writer’s Regimen! We’re pleased to congratulate Alexandra Umlas on her winning piece, “Echo.”
I greatly appreciate the way the SER Writer’s Regimen gave me several ways into my writing. The combination of materials that I received daily allowed me to tap into my creativity from multiple angles. Not only did I come away from the regimen with a lot of new writing, I also gained inspiration and insight from a variety of incredible writers. For me reading is a wonderful remedy for writer’s block, and so I appreciated the thoughtful combinations of materials that the regimen provided. I look forward to going through the process again!
My poem, “Echo,” was inspired by day 4’s daily prompt that asked us to think about hands, and how they reveal character. I thought about my grandfather’s hands – the way they built pools for a living with such strength, and the way they held us as children with such tenderness. That day’s regimen also included a quote from Ha Jin: ‘I don’t think writers are supposed to give answers or explain characters fully. We are supposed to describe and expose problems.’ These words gave me the nudge I needed to write about the difficult subject of saying goodbye to a loved one.”
gnaws the horizon, spills its flesh over
your mouth, so it hangs dry as city dust.
swimming – a magnificent silver sword fish
thick from mixing concrete for swimming pools,
This morning, your body seeps like a fumarole field,
milk into cereal bowls, like I pour bravery
Even my feet whimper, your breaths are rocks
them into the sun, watch them burn back to life.
I imagined, but rain leaking through windows.
how it would feel in my hands. The blisters
my fingers and I would keep grasping.