A Poetry Writing Prompt-A-Day 2014 – Thanks

Thanks to everyone who participated in our seonc annual poetry writing “Prompt-A-Day” project for National Poetry Month. Many poems were written and posted in the comments where these prompts were also posted in our Facebook group and they’ll remain in perpetuity in the posts below for future inspiration.

A huge thanks to all of the people who submitted writing prompts…we received so many more than we could possibly use…(only 30 days in the month!) We’ll definitely be doing this again next year…but in the waning moments of National Poetry Month let’s have every day be a day filled with poetry.

April 30, 2014: Maggie Westland

What if?  

This little phrase opens all manner of possible poems … could be you born to different parents, histories rewritten, time warps or word warps, new planets or species.  

The choices are infinite –  see what happens when you say

What if?


Submitted by Maggie Westland

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/

April 29, 2014: Jean Colonomos

Write a sentence.  On the next line subtract a word from the sentence until the poem is one word.  The example below best shows what I’m suggesting.

Writing is not just Apollo’s gift.
Writing is not just Apollo’s.
Writing is not just.
Writing is not.
Writing is.
Writing.


Submitted by Jean  Colonomos

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/

April 28, 2014: Thea Constantine

Justifiable Homicide:
Does anyone really wake up and utter “mwahahaha”? Life certainly would be easier if things were so cartoon-simple — but we know they aren’t. Perhaps Jean Renoir said it best when he stated, “The real hell of life is that everyone has his reasons.” 

What’s the cruelest thing you’ve ever done? If you can bear to think about it for a few minutes, you’ll most likely recall the reason for doing what you did. It may not be a great one, but the circumstances that led you to that action probably weren’t based on the desire to be a smashing villainess or your just feeling evil that day. You had your reasons.

Grab your pen or fire up your laptop and write down three things you find completely rotten or unacceptable. Now pick one and find the best excuse you can think of for doing that very thing. Try applying these dilemmas not only to your antagonist, but to your protagonist as well.


Submitted by Thea Constantine / http://www.theaconstantine.com/

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/

April 27, 2014: Ruth Hill

Choose a subject. Collect a list of vocabulary words that best describe that subject. Now write describing the FEELINGS around that subject, without using any of the assumed vocabulary words you first collected?


Submitted by Ruth Hill

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/

April 26, 2014: Jaimes Palacio

Write a persona poem from the point of view of a bad guy in a movie. (Example: Blofeld in James Bond, Jason in Friday the 13th-though I personally despise slasher films) What are their motivations? Do they have doubts? What are their ultimate goals, and why?


Submitted by Jaimes Palacio

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/

April 25, 2014: Erin Elizabeth Smith

Write a poem that includes the following: an armadillo, a type of alcohol, grass clippings, a shade of yellow, and a line from a favorite text.


Submitted by Erin Elizabeth Smith / http://www.sundresspublications.com

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/

April 24, 2014: Ashira Malka

Go in your mind (which includes ‘real life!’) to a place you’ve been, or haven’t, where there is a historical marker. Best not to read it, but you can if you like … imagine, instead, what you’d like to write. Look around at the vista, look to your imagined past, look forward to the future. What happened, what will happen there?


Submitted by Ashira Malka / 2CPoetry.com

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/

April 23, 2014: Vinita Agrawal

Write a poem that begins with the line: In the cold of your shadow


Submitted by Vinita Agrawal / www.vinitawords.com

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/

April 22, 2014: E. Spears

Write a poem that gives a voice to your shadow.

Submitted by E. Spears

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/

April 21, 2014: Milo Rosebud

“Personify Your Pet”: Tell us in a poem about your present, or your favorite, pet. Describe its character and personality. Title of the poem is the pet’s name. Three 4-line verses, skip-lines, title and byline not to exceed 19 lines in-print. Line length not to exceed 40 spaces. Do not tell what species the pet is.

Submitted by Milo Rosebud

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/

April 20, 2014: Elizabeth Iannaci

The “On This Day in History” Prompt

1. Choose a date that is significant to you:  Your parents’ wedding day; the day you think you were conceived; the day you got your first car; ANY red-letter day in your life or in the history of your family.
2. Look up your chosen date on the internet.  You my Google it or there are a number of websites – www.history.com/this-day-in-history  is a good one.  You’ll get a list and short description of notable events and anniversaries occurring on that day.
Pick one.  You can research the event or the people involved further if you wish.
3, Use your significant date as a title, with a short epigraph explaining the correlating historical event:

March 23, 2011
Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

4. Write a stanza in first person, present tense, that describes your personal event.  Include physical details: the sounds, smells, sights, the weather, etc.
5. Write a stanza as an all-knowing narrator, also in present tense, describing the historical event. It should be roughly equal in length to the first stanza.  Be as detailed and specific as you were with the first event.
6. Write a third stanza that braids or incorporates additional details or specifics about each event.


Submitted by Elizabeth Iannaci

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/

April 19, 2014: Ina Schroders-Zeeders

Write a poem with a very unexpected last line, in which everything you wrote in the first lines, is the opposite.


Submitted by Ina Schroders-Zeeders / http://inaweblogisback.wordpress.com

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/

April 18, 2014: Nicole Nicholson

Find a common noun in a foreign language, preferably of an object, person, or concept that originates from the culture or country in which the language is spoken. Some good examples: bodhrán, dupatta, Zeitgeist. Now, write about the object, idea, or thing. Describe it. Or use it in a narrative. It’s up to you.


Submitted by Nicole Nicholson / http://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com

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/

April 17, 2014: Edie Schmoll

“The time has come to say good-bye.”
(Here is your first line; just take it from there. You might write about just someone’s emotions here–either the sender or receiver; or tell a story about what brought this about. It should be easy if you are really a poet!)


Submitted by Edie Schmoll / http://www.edieschmoll.com

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/

April 16, 2014: Nancy Shiffrin

Introduce yourself as a weather condition.

Sit quietly and listen. Write a poem based on the sounds you hear.


Submitted by Nancy Shiffrin / http://home.earthlink.net/~nshiffrin

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/

April 15, 2014: Robert Wynne

Prompt Name: Rhetorical Cliche

Prompt Description: Write a 2-part poem answering one of the following questions in 2 different ways, using the question as the title of the piece:

Why did the chicken cross the road?
What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?
Who died and left you in charge?
Who’s the man?
Why buy the cow when the milk is free?
Why close the barn door after the horse is gone?
Were you born in a barn?
Were you raised by wolves?
What am I, chopped liver?
What’s wrong with this picture?

Submitted by Robert Wynne / http://www.rwynne.com/

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/

April 14, 2014: Jenna Mazur

Write about an experience in which you (or a character) doubted yourself. Did you turn out to be right, or wrong? What made this happen? Can you trust your gut feeing?


Submitted by Jenna Mazur / http://cincapatta.tumblr.com/

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/

April 13, 2014: Michelle Angelini

All over the world there are numerous abandoned buildings, ships, towns, gardens, and many other things. In your poem, consider including some these things: its former use or history, why it was abandoned, where it is, what it looks like now, if it’s rusty, and why it is beautiful. Other points to consider: has nature taken over; have vandals tagged it; why it might be important; is it someplace where others might see it; what is in/at the abandoned place? These are only suggestions. If you need inspiration – look up some sites that have abandoned places.


Submitted by Michelle Angelini

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/

April 12, 2014: Danielle Mitchell

Write a modern sonnet in which the turn signifies the difference between what you wanted and what you got.

For example, in Patricia Smith’s “One Little Good Thing About It”

We wanted:
“We wanted rippling rivers on each foot, taps on our
heels, yellow scalloped Easter socks.”

We got:
“torched toothed
irons in the gaslight, scorched flattened crowns.”

The modern sonnet doesn’t need to rhyme, but it should follow the model of a sonnet, expressing a lyric with a story-like progression. It should have 13 lines.


Submitted by Danielle Mitchell

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/

April 11, 2014: Jerry Carlin

Write a poem about what happens when you wake up one morning and realize that everything you have ever believed is utterly wrong.


Submitted by Jerry Carlin

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/

April 10, 2014: Laurel Ann Bogen

Choose the title of a film or book or song that that captures how you are feeling today. Make that the title of your poem, and see what happens. Examples: You Keep Me Hanging On, Pretty Woman, Night of the Living Dead.etc.


Submitted by Laurel Ann Bogen

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/

April 9, 2014: Richard Lynch

The next time you step off a curb, stop. Look to the right an find the most immediate person that you see who is not moving. Read them. Write them. Understand their predicament from their eyes and clothes and inertia. What does it say about their life… and everyone else’s?


Submitted by Richard Lynch

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/

April 8, 2014: Lorraine Kanter

From Robert Frost’s poem, Acquainted with the Night, use the same last word from each line in the poem at the end of each line in your response. The words are: night, rain, light, lane, beat, explain, feet, cry, street, good-bye, height, sky, right, night. Good luck!


Submitted by Lorraine Kanter

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/

April 7, 2014: Russ Kazmierczak

Lady Gaga once made a dress out of meat.  What other food deserves its own dress – and why?


Submitted by Russ Kazmierczak

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/

April 6: Ken Boe

Find what I call a “synchronicity intersection”, or an “inter-rare event”. Go to this place or happening and record what you experience, using as many of the senses as possible.Of particular interest is eavesdropping, witnessing human interactions, or any kind of anomalous activity at all. Synchronicity Intersections are places where people, objects, or other energies come together at anomalous frequencies. For instance, a street intersection which is quiet for long periods of time, then suddenly several cars or pedestrians show up at the same time from disparate directions.Think liberally, though, about what an intersection may be. This is a fairly literal example. Sacred spaces, grids, various types of parks, venues, or disasters may tend to have more frequency, it is yet to be empirically measured.

Inter-rare Events, likewise, are similar but more about temporal happenings, more weaved into social and environmental chaos for determination. Both may be related to ley lines, or other such planetary phenomenon, but events could happen anywhere at anytime.

With NSA technology such as PRISM, or AI “grokking” of ambiguous systems, anomalous levels of anomaly could be determined, and poets sent on emergency scouting missions, if this technology were put into the hands of artists rather than militarists. But if you have access to such methodology, or can develop such, please demonstrate your results after the evidence is transformed into poetry. But also, having plein air painters, photographers, or other creatives join you in this experimental adventure, could prove much more dynamic, and lead to such things as group shows of multiple genre. Finally, take one’s recordings, notes, drawings, interviews, or found objects from your experience and “stitch” a poem together(or other artwork) while freshly primed with the experience, and its myriad contexts. I’ve had several very strong poems come from this type of approach, and eventually I hope to grow this into something bigger – which may start right here.


Submitted by Ken Boe.

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/

April 5, 2013: Hal Sirowitz

Write a short letter to the editor for the newspaper.
Write it in prose. Make line breaks. Revise it into a poem. For example, how can anyone lose an airplane. I lost a pair of pants once

Submitted by Hal Sirowitz.

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/

April 4, 2014: Diana Raab

Sit quietly and meditate. Inhale and exhale slowly.
Get into the writing zone by burning a candle or doing some stretches.Think back to your first kiss. Write about the anticipation, who it was with, how it felt, how it smelled and how it might have affected your future kisses.xoxxo

Submitted by Diana Raab.

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/

April 3, 2014: Daniel Irwin

Write a poem to your chihuahua that’s now in the belly of your neighbor’s escaped boa.

Submitted by Daniel Irwin.

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/

April 2, 2014: LJ Selph

Does anyone remember what it was to hold a pen? How it felt to hover over that vast expanse of virgin paper? Now imagine a time when that’s all there was and that walk to the mailbox; what would be waiting and from whom would it be? Doubtful it would be junk mail, but Sears and Roebuck made delightful toilet paper: I am told…

Submitted by LJ Selph.

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/