“I Remember” exercise
This is the simplest and also the most powerful of all writing prompts.
It is this: write pages of sentences that begin with the phrase “I Remember.” This assignment is based on a book of the same name by Joe Brainard, an artist and writer, who collected his “I Remember”s in several editions, and are available in book form.
An excerpt from I Remember is in your Readings folder.
Some “I Remember”s are very short, others a paragraph long. One I remember is usually not related to the next one, but sometimes are.
Write 1,000 words’ worth of I Remembers, double-spaced.
Do not focus on one period of your life. Include everything.
Include no fewer than 5 I Remembers that are full paragraphs (at least four sentences’ long).
Include no more than 5 I Remembers that use a single word or term (e.g., “I remember my first Xbox” or “I remember school band.”
Information and excerpts from Joe Brainard
Short article on Brainard at The Academy of American Poets.
An excerpt from Frieze Magazine.
A couple more here.
Some audio recordings of readings by Joe Brainard at PennSound (scroll down for I Remember excerpts).
From ArtVoice, “Remember Brainard.”
Other writers’ Joe Brainard imitations and homages
D.W. Lichtenberg‘s “I Remember” piece.
Jon Emil Vincent‘s “I heart Joe Brainard, always will.”