Poetry Writing Prompts 2018

April 30, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Brendan Constantine

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Brendan Constantine:

Pt. 1
Think of a time when you were misunderstood. Consider the feeling of being misunderstood. Does it have a color? Lite or dark? Think of one. Does it have a texture, a surface? Rough or smooth? Does being misunderstood have a sound? Loud or soft?

Pt. 2
Think of a time when you misunderstood someone else. Consider also the corrective you thought of after, when it was too late. 

Pt. 3
Compose a poem in which the speaker or subject commits an ‘act of misunderstanding.’ Have them try to fix it. Refer to your color, texture and sound.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 29, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Martina Reisz Newberry

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Martina Reisz Newberry:

You get out of the shower one morning, clear the steam off the mirror and notice you that, unlike your usual green eyes looking at you, you have one blue eye and one brown eye. You are certain you have always had green eyes. When and why and how has this happened. The sky outside has become dark and overcast and you are sure your eyes have something to do with that. What does it all mean?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 28, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – LB Sedlacek

This poetry writing prompt submitted by LB Sedlacek:

Wake Up Poem using Meditative Words and Images:  Sit in a quiet comfortable place to do a short meditation.   Close your eyes.  Imagine your body has a form.  It could be anything:  a favorite pet, a painting you like, a certain season or time of the year.  Continue to sit and let the image resonate throughout your thoughts.  Take slow deep breaths and just let your mind be quiet.  You can do this in just a few minutes.  Take enough time to slow down, be alone with your thoughts and simply visualize.  Next make the image you have visualized concrete.  Use your tablet, or pen & paper, or colored pencils or even crayons and paper and simply draw what you see.  Don’t worry if you aren’t artistically inclined.  You simply want a visual to work with.  Next step is to write about your image on paper. Let the image tell you about you, how it sees you, creating a dialogue with the image.  Let the image raise any emotion or not that you feel towards it.  Write about your image using any kind of form you want and don’t forget use of space, line breaks to complete your words and thoughts and overall poem.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 25, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Cecilia Woloch

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Cecilia Woloch:

Look up the etymology of one of your favorite words and consider its complex and surprising history. The word clue, for instance, developed from the word clew, a ball of thread used to guide a person out of a labyrinth (literally or figuratively). Write a poem in which you interweave the history of that favorite word with some aspect of your personal history, as in M, Ayodele Heath’s poem, “Etymology of Ain’t:”

Etymology of Ain’t by M. Ayodele Heath

Ain’t
used to be an’t
which comes from
am not as in                               I ain’t you
but also is not as in                 He ain’t me
& also have not as in              I ain’t been
and don’t wanna be

Ain’t is a state of that which is not
Ain’t is a state in the American South
Ain’t country, ain’t hip-hop
Ain’t nappy, ain’t cornrows, ain’t dreadlocks
Ain’t ignores dress codes       no shoes, no socks
Ain’t wears no drawers           don’t own any

Ain’t ain’t never apologized for being
Ain’t never been apologetic
Some say ain’t no future in ain’t
& ain’t ain’t what it used to be
but where ain’t is, is ain’t
Ain’t ain’t metaphysical?

Is you is or is you ain’t? I ain’t         no haint
Ain’t never been three-fifths            of nothing
Ain’t trying to be no more than       I am
I is whole
Before I was born                                  I was all

They placed ain’t’s tombstone        between ‘tis and ‘twas
But ain’t stands defiantly                   as don’t and won’t
Tar & feather me                                    burn me down
I ain’t supposed to be here

But I is

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 23, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Debra Leissner

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Debra Leissner:

Write a poem about the virtues and difficulties of being a burden.  You might consider cultural pressures, impact on the individual who is labeled a burden (positive and/or negative), or the impact on the person accepting and/or shirking the burden.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 22, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carol Barbour

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carol Barbour:

I recommend going for a walk until exhausted. Stop at a movie theatre and watch a film, preferably a film that is serious and thought provoking. As you make your way home pull out your notebook and write down a few words, a phrase, a scene from the day’s events. Ask yourself why these words and images resonate. Insert yourself into the page. What does it mean to be you? Now imagine that you are walking. Recall the rhythm of your body and begin to write. Go beneath the words and the images. Be loose and float like a cork on the sea. In this state it is best to take public transit. When you arrive home make some tea and eat some food. Then write some more. Continue with this thread of writing until you fall asleep. The next day read it, change it if you must. Delete parts that are redundant. Type it up on your computer. Read it out loud. Work on it. Forget about it for a couple of weeks. Return to it. Give it a title, then another. Flip the beginning to make it the ending.  Switch it back again and take out your favourite line. See if you can live without it. Does the poem want to say something that you are resisting? Add new thoughts, words and images. Read it out loud. Shape it some more, and more again until the words run clear.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 21, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Elizabeth Harmatys Park

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Elizabeth Harmatys Park:

Listen carefully, then write a poem that begins with a line you overheard.  For example, I was playing canasta when I overheard another player say somewhat irritably “It’s in the rule book – look it up”.  That can become a first line to a poem!

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 20, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Liz Larew

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Liz Larew

“‘Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing’.  Writers often struggle with the blank page.  A clean slate can motivate, but it can also scare us.” Write about the wonder of the blank page, how it motivates or scares you or both; what do you wonder about your writing and why do you write poetry anyway?

Quotes from Kwame Alexander and Lucille Clifton from Out of Wonder, Poets Celebrating Poets, by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 18, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Rie Sheridan Rose

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Rie Sheridan Rose

Write a poem incorporating all five senses. The subject isn’t as important as the sensory development, but remember it is easier to describe the taste of the coffee the day he walked out than the sound of a sunrise…

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 17, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Lenny DellaRocca

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Lenny DellaRocca

Take titles from Facebook posts and use it for a list poem, i.e. a recent post was “15 Things You Didn’t know Your Hair Dryer Could Do”. Then make up your own things it can do OR list things it CAN’T do. Run with it– for example- 1. Turn the radio off in the car next to you at a stop light 2. See through walls. 3. Make strangers fall in love with you… and so on. Expand on each item to fill out the ideas. Then take the best lines and make them the titles of new poems. Etc.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 16, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carol Clark Williams

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jen Karetnick

You are transported to another dimension where the alphabet has never been invented in any form. Imagine what this country would be like in terms of communication and progress. Write a poem about the land without letters.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 15, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jen Karetnick

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jen Karetnick

Write a poem in the form of a standardized test question and answers. It could involve any subject–reading, math, science–as long as it’s verbal enough for both the question and answers to provide material enough to fill out this experimental form.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

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April 13, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Robert Wynne

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Robert Wynne

You are walking down a hallway.  There are 2 doors on your left, 2 doors on your right, and 1 door at the end of the hallway.  In 5 separate stanzas, approach each door.  Do you open it?  Why, or why not?  If you do, what do you find?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 12, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Linda Leedy Schneider

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Kathy Lundy Derengowski.

Use Food as a Prompt for Poetry

Think of your favorite food.  Prewrite for several minutes. Describe the food using all of your senses. Sight, touch, smell, taste, even hearing!

Now think about the place where you first remember encountering this food.  Describe the place you are in, who is there with you, how you felt for a few minutes.

Close your eyes and picture the food, meditate on it.  Let your mind wander.

Write for 15 minutes about whatever comes to mind.  Follow the energy of your writing. If a new subject comes up that has more energy follow that subject like taking a fork in the road.  Your writing may cover many subjects unrelated to the food.  Do not try to return to the subject. You are not writing an essay. You are following your mind.

Here is a poem that came writing in this way.

Tomato

Red, round, ripe-
full of the sun’s heat
familiar in my hand
like a newborn’s head

Little pumpkin
of pleasure
dressed in
six scalloped leaves

Leaves that held
the flower
that needed
the bees or a breeze

To start
the seeds
in these
red ovaries.

Sometimes,
there is
so much sex
in my sink

I need to
turn away
and quickly brown
the bulbous onions.

Linda Leedy Schneider
Published in The Spoon River Poetry Review
and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 11, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Ellen Sander

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Ellen Sander

Write a poem with the title (and perhaps with a first line of)  “They Didn’t Do Any Harm”  develop the poem to express what those words mean to you. Explore the other side of what  you have written to end with “they didn’t do much good, either.”

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 10, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Kathy Lundy Derengowski

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Kathy Lundy Derengowski.

Write us a poem for a sleepless night, a poem that will let us sleep even as it wakes us up. Give us a poem that is a lullaby, that engenders dreams, that opens our eyes as we close our eyes. Write us a pillow, a blanket, and a bed.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 8, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carolyn Adams

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carolyn Adams.

Write a set of 5 American Sentences in which each differently addresses the same specific topic.  American Sentences were invented by Allen Ginsberg as a western interpretation of Japanese haiku.  Whereas haiku employs specific syllable counts per each of the three lines, to total 17 syllables, American Sentences only require a total of 17 syllables.  They can be any number of lines or short sentences, and can have any syllable count per line.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 7, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Laurel Ann Bogen

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Laurel Ann Bogen.

Write a poem about your mother or father when they were younger than you are now. For example, if you are 40, write a poem about one of them at 24, or 15, or 32, or 9. You may write either in first or third person.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 3, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carl Stilwell

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carl Stilwell.

A step down poem: Begin poem with a word. Add aword to it the 2nd line, a 3rd word the 3rd line, etc. till you have descended the stairs.

Three
Three blind
Three blind mice–
Three blind mice–See
Three blind mice–See
Three blind mice–See how
Three blind mice–See how they
Three blind mice–See how they run

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

April 1, 2018: Poetry Writing Prompt – Suzanne Lummis

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Suzanne Lummis.

Write a poem about a favorite musician or a song you love–could be how that song, musician, fits into your life. Or not. Maybe it has nothing to do with your life. Maybe it’s someone else’s life you think of. Or no one’s. Maybe this poem’s made of impressions, images, fragments of conversation. Now you have your first draft. Excellent. But of course it needs some revision, maybe expansion. Work on your revision while listening to that music, that One Song.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55010360875/

#napowrimo #poetry

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