Tomorrow is Pearl’s 100th day of school, a big holiday in Kindergarten, I am realizing. She wrote a 100 word poem for the 100 Museum, and I’m going to do one too, although it won’t get to be in any museum. If you’d like join us–and I hope you will–please leave a link in the… Continue reading Open 100: The 100 Word Poem
Here's a fun sounding exercise from Read Write Poem. It's by Bruce Covey. Let us know if you give it a try! X=13, Y=21 Where there are coins, there’s matter, A narrow strip of over 700,000 in this province. Today the birds are green and the roofs are woven Of string. You pick the spot,… Continue reading DIY Dream Poem
If you are always looking for new poetry writing prompts, there's a new kid on the block, The Poetry Instigator. It's a blog, it's a forum, it's a poetry machine, I tell ye! They're completely mad over there. I think you'll love it. photo by shikoooooo via flickr
I like this writing exercise by Linda Jacobs so much that I’ve stolen it. Well, provided a link to it anyway. Check out her idea of writing about death and shoes on the blog, Totally Optional Prompts. I think it’s a keeper. If you give this one a try, let us know. And you get… Continue reading Open 48: Death and Shoes (Stolen from Linda Jacobs)
Get inspired by the Light Poems of Jackson Mac Low. Write a poem about LIGHT. See the photograph of The Postman (below) for visual inspiration.
Erasure, another kind of writing exercise, begins with an existing text. As the name implies, you create a first draft by eliminating most of the original text, creating (one hopes) a brand new one. These are great when you're very stuck. Which I am often enough! I did several of these during NaPoWriMo this April.… Continue reading Open 46: Erasure
I almost always like the word collage writing exercises from Read Write Poem, but this one seems especially fine. And fun. If you want to give it a try, just follow the steps provided here. Happy Writing!
This poetry prompt is based on "Today I Didn't," a poem by Terry Ehret from her book Lost Body. As you can quickly see, it's a structure in which you describe what-is by describing what-isn't. This example by a boy in juvenile detention is about a dozen years old, but I still remember the powerful… Continue reading Open 45: Negative Capability
Using Frank O'hara's poem as a model, write a poem made up of pseudo fortunes from fortune cookies. Have fun with name-dropping and quirkier-than-thou details.
Christian Bok, in his book of poetry, Eunoia, dedicates a section of his long poem to each vowel. In each segment, Bok uses only that vowel, as in the example below. For today's writing exercise, write a poem in which you use only one vowel.
Do you ever revise a poem dozens of times but it never really improves? I find old poems in folders sometimes for which a remix is the only possible salvation. Perhaps you'd consider using an online application and invite the forces of chance to enter the process. The example above is a remixed version of… Continue reading Open 42: Chance
This writing exercise is #43 from Charles Bernstein's Experiments. It's one of my favorites. "Pits": Write the worst possible poem you can imagine.
You don't have to understand twitter to do this writing exercise. I'm simply using the "rules" of twitter to provide some formal constraint. 1) This poem will be construct from prose stanzas (verse paragraphs?) of no more than 140 characters. 2) Each stanza should answer the question (re that particular speaker) "What are you doing?"… Continue reading Open 40: Twitter Poetry
This writing exercise requires a little bit more preparation than most of the ones I post on Big Window. You will need a large piece of butcher paper or poster board, a pen or pencil, and a dark place where you can write without interruption. Give yourself 20 minutes in darkness and write through your… Continue reading Open 39: Darkness Visible