My reputation was on the line, and I had 39 minutes to write a poem in order to salvage it.

My poetry teacher had recommended The Grindery to me as a way to overcome my glacier-scale writer’s block. Everyone in the online cohort that the website had matched me up with kicked in $5 and made a vow: one poem a day until there was only one standing who would then collect the sum.

I had been in for a month, as others had dropped out, and only a few of us remained.

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