This week’s prompt comes from Write on the DOT Program Advisor and Dorchester writer, Aaron Devine. Aaron writes:
For the past 6 years, my wife and I have lived on the first floor of a 3 Decker home near the intersection of Dot Ave and Columbia Road. A few years back, I came up with an idea for a 3 Decker Poem, inspired by Dorchester’s most iconic architecture. Like its namesake, a 3 Decker Poem builds community through collaboration.
A 3 Decker Poem is:
- Three tercets (a tercet is a three-line stanza or block of text)
- One word or phrase that repeats/echoes somewhere in each tercet
- Three writers together in one poem
Start by choosing a “floor” to write the first tercet. Consider a topic related to home (i.e. memories in your home, sensual details like sounds or smells; or focus on a particular object or person who defines your sense of home). Then pass the poem to a friend or neighbor. The second writer chooses a word or phrase to echo in their tercet (echo can mean repeat or simply complement in some way). The third and final writer completes the three-story structure with one last tercet, also echoing the same word or phrase, perhaps in a new way.
The 3 Decker Poem is designed to bring writers and neighbors together to reflect on what it means to share space—in a neighborhood and in a creative work. Write on the DOT led 3 Decker Poem writing workshops at the 2018 and 2019 Boston Book Festivals.
You can also start your #3deckerpoem on social media like this: write one tercet—then tag two friends/neighbors to help you complete it.
Structure a handwritten version of your poem with this Dorchester 3 Decker Poem print (handmade by Aaron). Download a copy here: