Prompt for August 21 – Virtual Barat House

Smile and smile, even if your smile is thin

The axolotl, also known as the Mexican walking fish, although it isn’t a fish at all, nor is it a reptile. Maybe it’s a baby dragon.

From dragons (see Wednesday’s prompt) to salamanders! Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 12pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

A note about the prompt

The text is from World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Milkweed Editions, forthcoming September 2020). See a video of the author reading excerpts from her book here, featuring two lovely illustrations by Fumi Nakamura. I wish I could have shared Nakamura’s images! But I didn’t want to steal them. (Instead, I stole this one from a meme.)

And this copy from Milkweed Editions is so comforting and uplifting that I had to share: Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.