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UnConscious Words – Poetry from BestSellers

Girl on the Train

Have you tried ekphrastic poetry?  Ekphrastic poems are specifically inspired by works of art:  sculpture, paintings, technology, other poems, and books.

        To create the poems, I used the same technique as I did with  Unconscious Words, the Poet as Scribe (soon to be published by Dancing Girl Press). I search through the books recording words that “jump out”.  After collecting about a page of random words, I create poems using just those words.   

For Unconscious Words – Bestselling Edition, I created poems based on a decade of top best-selling books. Surprisingly, identifying the absolute bestseller in each year from 2011 to 2021 was more difficult than anticipated. I cobbled together a list of ten books that had landed on multiple best-selling lists and showed up with an impressive number of copies sold.

Armed with my list of ten, I sought out copies sold through used book outlets. 

Here is one of the poems.  The collection is under consideration by Dancing Girl Press if you want to be the first to know – sign up for my monthly coaching newsletter!

Words by Paula Hawkins -The Girl on the Train  6

Angry stupid keys

Ridiculous woman spoke Friday

Asked for noise, started the TV

In general the least red

Honestly, telling nothing

Walk to trains & confrontation 

Worried winter, an affair

Penciled name exchanged for a baby

The message for help

Sit opposite, take the meeting

Quietly, despite immature shame


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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