30 Writing Prompts for National Poetry Month Writing prompts by Kelli Russell Agodon – _______________________________________________ 1. Grab the closest book. Go to page 29. Write down 10 words that catch your eye. Use 7 of words in a poem. For extra credit, have 4 of them appear at the end of a line. 2. Write about a poem about a superhero coming to your house and confronting you about something. Somewhere in the poem, you have to state what your superpower is. 3. Write a poem that is really a love letter to an old flame. To make sure it’s doesn’t slip into sappy, make sure one or more of these words are in the poem: dung beetle, politician, nuclear, exoskeleton, oceanography, pompadour, toilet. 4. Make a list of seven words that have the same vowel sounds (like bee, treat, pepperoni, eagle) and use them in a repetitive way throughout a poem. 5. Write a poem about a weird fact or several odd facts that you know.
6. Write a poem in two sections about two completely different things. Have the title link both items today in a surprising way. 7. Find a favorite recipe. Now write a poem inspired or in the style of that recipe about a family secret—yours or someone else’s. 8. Turn your paper so that it’s in the landscape position. Write a poem about God or the universe or the horizon of the ocean with longer lines and see what happens. 9. Write a poem to your favorite letter of the alphabet. 10. Write a seven-line poem about one of the 7 Sins that only contains seven words in each of the lines. 11. Write a poem that begins with the last thing you can remember someone saying to you today or yesterday. See if you can use that line two or three times. 12. Turn on the radio to any channel. Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear (lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.) 13. Run around your house and grab 5 items that all begin with the same letter. Write a poem as an ode to one of these items or that includes these items. 14. Think of the nicest thing someone ever said to you. Write a poem about a rainy day and something flooding. End the poem with the good thing someone said. 15. Write a poem that describes the wallpaper on your computer or the image on the last postcard you received. Writing Prompts by Kelli Russell Agodon – 16. Make a list of ten images of things you have seen in the last 24 hours. Use all of them in a poem. 17. Write a poem that includes these words: bamboozled, bloodlust, bibliography. Have the title include one of these words: contradiction, constellation, cranberry. 18. Write a poem about something small that is only 5 lines long. 19. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. If the sounds are peaceful, write a poem with a violent word as the title. If the sounds are loud, write a poem with a kind word as the title. 20. Remove your shoes. Write a poem that celebrates your feet. 21. Write a poem with the opposite hand that you write with or if you type your poems on the computer, use only one hand to type. 22. Write a poem that only had five syllables in each line. Give the poem a long title. 23. Write a poem where the last word of the first line begins with the first letter of your name, and the last word of the second line begins with the second letter of your name until you have spelled out your first and/or your last name. 24. Write a poem that has the word “love” hidden in it somewhere. You cannot use the word “love” by itself, it must be hidden (such as in the word “glove” or in two words like “halo venom”). 25. Write a poem where a literary figure shows up and tells you something and/or gives you something. 26. Write a poem to your future self, but do not say it is to your future self, address the poem to a president or rockstar. 27. Write a poem made of ten metaphors. 28. Make a list of your favorite words today. Write a poem that uses 90% of the words you wrote down. 29. Write a poem about a skyscraper. Now, rewrite the poem with the last line being your first. 30. Write a poem giving thanks to a poet or to writing a poem a day. Use a line from one of the poems you wrote this month to either begin or end it.