The circus is packing up

May 9, 2011
By Big Tent Poetry

Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. It is with mixed emotions that we announce that this week’s prompt and its matching “Come One, Come All” gathering will be the last. We have decided to take a break from community-building and focus awhile on writing (more than is possible when running a circus).

This site will stay up as a record of your work (and to preserve the resources it contains), and we are grateful for your contributions. It’s inspiring how you showed up every week to cheer each other on!

We are going to try something new — a three-way co-authored blog called A Fine Kettle of Fish. Stop by and see us from time to time so we don’t have to be sad about missing you?

Thank you so much for all you’ve done here. We love you, and we’re looking forward to this Friday for one final “Come one, come all!!”

~Carolee, Deb & Jill


37 Responses to “ The circus is packing up ”

  1. Liz on May 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    This makes me sad, I’d only just found it! Oh well, I wish you all the best of luck.

  2. Madeleine Begun Kane on May 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    This is very sad news for all your Big Tent participants! But I wish you wonderful luck with your new poetry site!

  3. Mariya Koleva on May 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, that’s very sad. Of course, it’s quite understandable. May all fine muses be with you in writing!

  4. pamelasayers on May 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Oh my, this is sad. I will check out your other blog. Good luck girls.


  5. Nathan Landau on May 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I arrived here via RWP when it shut down, and can only hope that the tradition of writing communities rising from the ashes of their predecessors can continue. In the mean time, best of luck, I’ll be checking the Kettle for sure.

  6. Rachel Barenblat on May 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    We’ll miss y’all, and the site, terribly! But thank you for all the fine work you’ve done in support of poetry and poetry-community online.

  7. Versebender on May 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    best of luck in your new endeavor…very sad news for the rest of us. Vb

  8. Sharp Little Pencil on May 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Farewell, til we meet at the Kettle.

    I have one comment that I hope you will take with patience and love, because I mean it only in a constructive way, to encourage more participation…

    Truthfully, the reason I didn’t post here more often is that, because of my mental issues, I had a hard time remembering to come back for the “Come One, Come All” facet of this blog. Perhaps you will allow people to post whenever they are ready for “Kettle of Fish”? Just a thought. I’ll do my best to find you, whether or not you keep the time lag.

    Much love and many blessings for all you do, Amy Barlow Liberatore

    • Mariya Koleva on May 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Ha, I have that trouble, too! I keep forgetting to come back at the correct time.

    • carolee on May 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      hi, amy! the schedule is hard for people to remember sometimes, and yes, we take all your comments constructively. we needed the schedule here (and at so many other sites we’ve been part of) to give the community focus & consistency, though i do know what you mean.

      at kettle, it’s not a community site per se, though if we inspire people, we’d be delighted. we’re not posting prompts there for the masses, just doing our own writing, almost like a single-authored poetry blog except that we are co-authoring.

      it’s been so nice writing with you and we hope you’ll join our discussions/comments at the kettle!!

  9. Barbara on May 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks for trying.

  10. Agnija Bharathi on May 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Sad that you’ll be closing down this blog, especially since I just discovered it last month! However, good luck to you on your new endeavor. I will definitely stop by the “Kettle”.

  11. ms pie on May 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    came by to check out the latest prompts… sad news but understandable… thank you for all the wonderful work… starting w/rwp and btp… you guys do such a great job on the poetry blogs…

  12. RJ Clarken on May 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so sad! This has been such a wonderful source of inspiration!

    Best of luck with your new endeavor – A fine Kettle of Fish. ☼

  13. Donna Vorreyer on May 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    We can support each other by continuing to visit the blogs/writers we have discovered here – you did an amazing job on this project and should be proud.

    Anybody wants a Saturday prompt, they can stop by my “place” – come on by!

    • carolee on May 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      you’re absolutely right, donna! community’s like this don’t have a true end. i’m still in touch with people i started blogging with more than 5 years ago. keep visiting one another!!

  14. Linda on May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    While the shuttering of Big Tent Poetry, save as a repository of our poems, is sad it is also exciting for you all. Your blog represented, for me, the best of what the Internet could offer. Your prompts were stimulating, the group diversified and each person accepted for what they brought to the table. You set the tone and it made the Big Tent a rather remarkable meeting spot for poets.

    Good luck with your new blog and your writing.


  15. irene on May 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    The time is right, I suppose. I’m excited for you girls.

  16. Andy on May 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I’m saddened by this news, but I fully understand the need to move on.

    I wish you much success in the next chapter of your lives and thank you for giving us the opportunity to post and share here at Big Tent Poetry.

    You’ll be sorely missed, but I’ll continue to keep an eye on you over at A Fine Kettle Of Fish (smile).

    Best wishes and a big THANK YOU.


  17. Deb on May 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you all for your wondeful well-wishes. It is truly appreciated and welcomed.

    You are a great bunch of poets & it has been an honor to interact with you. I am sure we will stay in touch. Xo

  18. nan on May 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    When the circus leaves town, some clowns surely stay behind with those fake tears painted on faces. Sad to read the news, but grateful for all the wonderful prompts! Good luck with your new venture. I started writing poetry in earnest under this tent, and will try to keep writing and following some of the wonderful blogs I found via this site.

  19. carolee on May 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    thanks, everyone!! your words mean a lot. they always have!!

  20. Mr. Walker on May 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    This is sad news. I had just discovered Read Write Poem at the end of April last year, and then it was no longer active. I’ve vowed this year to keep writing poems beyond April, and I thought Big Tent Poetry was going to be a place where I’d be checking in on a regular basis. So, I’ll say a fond farewell and wish you well. I’ve met some amazing people here and read some great poems. It’s been a wonderful experience for me, and I want to thank you for hosting such a great community spot. I wish you the best of luck with your new shared blog; I will definitely be stopping by.


  21. Catherine on May 10, 2011 at 2:13 am

    I echo the comments of others – I’ll miss you.I haven’t posted here for a while, but was just in the process of clearing more space in my life to write poetry, which has been derailed recently by work commitments. I look forward though, to watching your progress at your new blog.

  22. gautami tripathy on May 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I will miss it. But we all have to move one. Change is the only constant..

    Wish you the best!

  23. Deb on May 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Thank you, everyone. xoxo

    Coincidentally, my writing teacher sent me a news clip today (from April 14th):

    “Walter Breuning’s earliest memories stretched back 111 years, before home entertainment came with a twist of the radio dial. They were of his grandfather’s tales of killing Southerners in the Civil War. Breuning was 3 and horrified: “I thought that was a hell of a thing to say.” But the stories stuck, becoming the first building blocks into what would develop into a deceptively simple philosophy that Breuning, the world’s oldest man at 114 before he died Thursday, credited to his longevity. Here’s the world’s oldest man’s secret to a long life: — Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. (“Every change is good.”) — Eat two meals a day (“That’s all you need.”) — Work as long as you can (“That money’s going to come in handy.”) — Help others (“The more you do for others, the better shape you’re in.”) Then there’s the hardest part. It’s a lesson Breuning said he learned from his grandfather: Accept death. “We’re going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die,” he said. Breuning died of natural causes in a Great Falls hospital. He was the oldest man in the world and the second-oldest person, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. Besse Cooper of Monroe, Ga. — born 26 days earlier — is the world’s oldest person.”

  24. Joseph Harker on May 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Sad news on such a beautiful day! But thank you for a year of dazzling inspiration, and a community-building exercise that helped us all, I think, discover each other’s work and new aspects of our own. Will certainly be popping by the Kettle. :)

  25. vivienne blake on May 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    For a year, you have been sustaining me, educating me, inspiring me, finding me new good friends, culminating in your mammoth achievement during Napowrimo which brought us a prompt a day. Such prompts. there wasn’t one I didn’t attempt, and most of them made their way into the 86 posts I made during April.

    My gratitude is too much for mere words, but know this: I shall always have a special place in my heart for those special people, Carolee, Deb and Jill. Your new blog is about to be added to my blogroll, so that I can see the end product of your increased writing time.

    Love and admiration,

  26. Jeanne Aguilar on May 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Wow! I’m so glad I had an opportunity to participate while you were here! This has been a blast and I’m not sure that I’d be taking the time to write if it weren’t for you guys. Thanks, thanks, thanks for all of the prompts and the fun. And thanks for bringing me together with other people who love to write. I wish you guys the very BEST!!!

  27. dani h on May 11, 2011 at 3:01 am

    i’ve subscribed to your new blog and i wish you all the best. i’m not going to take the BIG TENT POETRY badge off my site though.

  28. Tilly Bud on May 11, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    Thanks for all the prompts, and the chance to meet other poets.

    Good l;uck with your new venture.

  29. brenda w on May 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for bringing us community. This is by far the best circus I have ever attended. A+ on your treatment of us animals. :)

  30. beth on May 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Oh, man! Just when I was hoping that the end of grad school = chance to write more. I know I can still write, but it’s gonna be a drag without BTP…

    But brava, brava, brava for all you have done. Good work, ladies.

  31. rob kistner on May 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Carolee, Deb, Jill — I hate to see you guys go. I will miss BTP. I fully realize how difficult it is to keep a blog, the scale and scope of BTP, up and running week after week. I applaud your ability to do so for as long as you did.

    One of the reasons I kept Writer’s Island simple (just a single weekly prompt) when I opened in 2007, after Poetry Thursday folded, was so that it might not overwhelm me. So far it hasn’t, lasting even through the hiatus of the opening and closing of Read Write Poem. I hope I can keep it going for a long time to come.

    Please know that you three are always invited to visit the Island anytime, even if to just say hello or read a few linked poems. I will certainly drop in from time to time to see what you cooked up in the “Kettle”. Best of luck in your futures.

    I also invite any BTP regulars, looking for Saturday prompts, to come ashore at Writer’s Island. The sun is always shining and the breezes always gentle.

  32. Lindsey on May 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    All of you are welcome at my writing workshop.

  33. annell on May 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

    You were my favorite. I can’t tell you how excited I was when the “circus came to town” with a new prompt. You brightened my life, gave me much. There is a place for you in my heart, come back soon. I’ll wait for you…..

  34. WyomingDiva on May 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    You will be missed.


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