The Operating System

A VERY SPECIAL INVITATION to a CELEBRATION of APPRECIATION :: The OS is now accepting submissions for our 4th annual Poetry Month 30/30/30 series!


The Operating System is thrilled to invite you to participate in the 4th Annual 30-on-30-in-30 Poetry Month Celebration! In this series, we invite creative people from a range of backgrounds to share a story about how their work has been influenced by a poet of their choice.  The series has generated such an outpouring of goodwill and gratitude that we are doubly committed to making this year’s contributions better than ever!

If you are new or newish to The Operating System, and aren’t familiar with the series’ intentions, you can check out the inaugural announcement here, but

here’s the basic refresher:

Over the course of Poetry Month The OS brings you 30 poets (+ writers, musicians, and artists) writing on 30 (+ a few extra) poets for 30 days (every day in April). The intention is simple, but crucial: to explode the process of sharing our influences and joys beyond the random. To create a narrative archive around that moment where we excitedly pass on the work of someone who has made a difference in our lives. And so, too, this is an opportunity for The OS to introduce our audience to the work of the people writing — who are invited to share work of their own that demonstrates that influence.

Really, its an exercise in appreciation. 
When I explain to participants what it’s supposed to feel like, I say,

you know that moment when you realize someone you know hasn’t heard of a poet that blows your mind? It should feel like that”: 

OHMIGOD you don’t know POETNAMEHERE??!!! Wait, wait, I have something of his/hers right here. {reads poem}…oh wow I started reading him/her when I was XYEARSOLD and in THISPLACE ohmigod this happened and oh yeah and then… and then… and then…and oh yeah here’s something I wrote, inspired by him/her”…


We’ve all been there, and that moment can be life changing for the person receiving that gift of introduction. This series is, well, that moment on steroids, archived so you can experience it again and again like poetry groundhog day. (you’re welcome)

The only limitation is that you choose a poet who has not already been profiled – but if you can, we encourage you to shine light on local and/or obscure and/or living poets and/or poets in translation — who others may be even less likely to have been exposed to. This provides a great service outside the canonical norms of familiarity and popularity.

Really, though, the best way to understand how this series works is to spend a little time getting lost in the NINETY previous entries! Beware, you may enjoy yourself enormously and forget your to-do list for a few hours or more!

Email with your choice of poet asap! The calendar always fills up quickly.
DEADLINE: SIGN UP with your 1st and 2nd choice of poet by 2/15 (2/1 suggested); drafts due 3/1.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Series Coordinator/Editor

2011 (personal project on The Trouble With Bartleby)

The series actually was born on my own blog, TTWB, in 2011 when I thought it would be a nice poetry month project to write about a different poet that had influenced me EVERY DAY for that month. Umm… needless to say it is less insane (and far more satisfying) to share the burden with 30 colleagues each April… you’re welcome to use any of these poets for your own tributes.

O’Hara, Sexton, Berryman, Billy Collins, EE Cummings, Ken Chen, Brenda Coultas, Beats: Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Waldman; John Hedjuk, Montale, Borges, Rilke, Sufis: Rumi, Khayyam, Hafiz, Tahirih;  Neruda, Sandburg, Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Jack Prelutsky.

One Commment

  1. […] It’s hard to believe that today’s post marks the first of our FOURTH annual 30/30/30 series, and that when this month is over we will have seeded and scattered ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY of these love-letters, these stories of gratitude and memory, into the world. 20-odd books, 3 magazines, countless events and online posts later, and this annual celebration shines like a beacon at the top of the heap of my very favorite things to have brought into being. [If you’re interested in going back through the earlier 90 entries, you can find them catalogued here.] […]

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