Got Writing Exercises?

In an effort to stretch myself and my poetry, I'm looking for poetry writing exercises. If you have suggestions for specific prompts or exercises that have worked for you as a teacher or a poet, I'd like to try them.

I'll try all of the exercises posted between now and the end of February.


Cate said…
I'm new to poetry exercises, so I might be suggesting some that are typically done, but I just bought the book, "In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop" by Steve Kowit, and it seems to include plenty of good ones. Some of the ones I want to try are: writing a poem using another (known) one as a catalyst/model, writing a prose poem, creating a "list" poem, creating a "cut-up" poem from random phrases that you circle in a newspaper, writing a "chance" poem from words or phrases found in the dictionary on pages that are the numbers in your birthdate, translating a poem from another language, etc.

This book is just filled with prompts, advice, and examples. I'm really enjoying it! xo
January said…
Cate, I like your suggestions, and I'm intrigued by the chance poetry idea. Thanks for passing your suggestions along, and I'll have to look into the book by Steve Kowit.
wendy said…
No help, I fear...Cat's got my tounge maybe I'll steal your ideas!!!cheeky huh...can't ever trust those poets..a surly bunch for sure!!good luck to you.
Erin said…
Oh how I used to love poetry prompts. My favorite was always the synesthesia prompt. Challenging others to write a poem that intermixed different senses, such as how colors would taste or how sounds smell.

Good luck with getting good ideas. I should probably try using some prompts myself - kickstart my writing. I haven't written any poetry at all in so long. Too long.
Anonymous said…
One that I like is to find a piece of text (a poem, or piece of prose)in a language that you don't speak. Then, translate it. More accuratley, pretend to translate it. Perform the act of writing what the piece looks like, or what associations you make with the words.
Hi! Get a book of poetry in another language and a dictionary, and TRANSLATE it! Lots of fun, and a real challenge.
Oh, and another fun one: Look through a toilet paper tube and write only about what you can see there.

Erin, glad to find you here!
January said…
I'll have to attempt the translation idea, as well as the others. Thanks, ladies.

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