Monday, July 18, 2016

Poetry Prompt: It's so... RANDOM!

Image by Piotr Siedlecki
Things have been chaotic in the world lately. Senseless violence confronts us in the news nearly every day. I don't know about you, but I need a break. I need to do something different, something light to pull me out of the dark funk I find myself in from following the latest headlines.

So let's play! The toys we will use are words. You can find words anywhere you choose. You can pull random words from p.37 line 4 of the first 5 books you grab. Or you can use one of these online word generators to give you a list of random words.

Random Word Generator

Text Fixer Random Word Generator

List of Random Words

Then the real fun begins...

The Prompt: Take a list of 5-10 random words and weave them into a poem. Challenge yourself with a specific poetic form from our favorite resource, Shadow Poetry. Or craft them into your own unique free verse or even invent a new form! Most of all, HAVE FUN!

~Amy McGrath


Monday, June 27, 2016

Poetry Prompt | 17 year itch


I'm visiting my family and friends in West Virginia. There's been a lot of things going on here, horrible flooding, strange weather, but one thing I'd like to concentrate on today is something much lighter. The cicadas.

Cicadas are these bugs that have different variations. The particular one that infested West Virginia this year comes around every 17 years. They live underground, dormant, until it's their time to shine and mate. The horrifying screech the males emit as their mating call. In fact, if you're mowing your lawn, they think that sound is the mating call and swarm around you. They're not harmful, except to your vegetation and if you're me, you're sanity.


For this week's poetry prompt, let's take a look at something that happens on a regular schedule periodically. It could be an imagining of Haley's Comet coming again (It passes Earth every 75 years) or something that occurs much more often, like a woman's menstrual cycle. This is definitely a different type of prompt, but I think it can definitely be a fun one. Play around with the idea of cycles and things happening on a schedule. See what happens.




Tamara Woods writes, because she can’t imagine any other life. She grew up in the poorest state in the U.S., West Virginia, as a laid-off coal miner’s daughter. She learned from this that money isn’t the root of all happiness, but it sure makes it easier. One fateful 5 at a youth workshop she learned both the art of stolen kisses and being open in her poetry: lessons she’s never forgotten. Tamara’s poetry is spoken word with a heavy emphasis on things that we all know and do. Her fiction hits on darker, uncomfortable subjects, because she’s a firm believer that stories can be beautiful without being pretty. She is the Editor of The Reverie Journal, online poetry site. She is the moderator of #writestuff a writing tweetchat that's every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. Find her poetry on her blog, PenPaperPad. Connect on Social Media: Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and check out her book and writing videos on YouTube.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Poetry Prompts: On the Pulse


Regardless of where you live in our world, I'm fairly certain that by now you've heard about the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida just a week ago. This tragic event has impacted not only those in the Orlando area, but has sent a shockwave throughout this country. People are polarizing on multiple issues that this event brings into harsh light. 

My poetic friends, I don't know that I'm prepared to write about my own feelings on this incident just yet, but I must. I want to invite/encourage you to put your feelings about this event and the major issues involved into words. I believe that, as poets/creatives, we have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to shed light into dark places. Write with boldness. Vent your anger. Share your love and encouragement with others. Do what you do best...tell the stories with your words.

Suggested Topics: gun violence/gun control
                               religion
                               being and/or supporting LGBTQIA individuals
                               community response

Alternate Prompt: Choose an issue of deep importance to you and write a poem to communicate your position on that issue.

Thank you for taking part and for sharing your poems with us!

Amy McGrath


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Poetry Prompts - Liberating

“Just like there's always time for pain, there's always time for healing.” ― Jennifer Brown

It seems this has been a month of forgetting at least here on Poets on the Page. For me it's because I've been doing more offline than on. As I maneuver the healing process of my breakup, I'm exploring life through walking in parks and by the river, getting together with friends, playing my flute, reconnecting with my spirituality, creating art and reading.

A place on the river where I play my flute, read, and write in my journal.


A couple of weeks ago I went on a solitary road trip to the beach, it was liberating and invigorating. I've spent time on my own, and enjoy it, but I've never camped by myself before. I loved it. I think my next road trip will be into the mountains and a longer camping trip.

Relaxing on Tybee Beach.


Whether you have gone through a break up or were having some other, "dark night of the soul" what have you done for yourself to heal and move on?

Poetry Prompt:

Write for ten minutes about how your healing process took an unexpected turn, choose part or all of it and form a shape poem.

Word Prompts:

Alone time
exploration
liberating



Peace,
Morgan Dragonwillow
Read, Dance, Write, Repeat.


Morgan Dragonwillow is a poet, author, encourager, and facilitator of magical circles. She is team leader at @StoryDam, #OctPoWriMo and #PoetsonthePage You can find her Playing with Words and dancing on her blog.
Yes she is on Google+ too!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Can't go home again | Poetry Prompt

Fellow poets, please allow me to apologize to you. My mind has been totally blown by visiting my native land of West Virginia. I was confused and thought I was posting next week. Please accept my apology.

I live in Hawai'i now and things are so incredibly different between the two states: culturally, food-wise, environment. Then there's things that are so similar- the closeness of families, the outright friendliness to your neighbor, and the feeling of isolation. Every year I go home to visit. The expression, "You can't go home again," worries at the back of my mind. Can I ever truly go home?





Let's take that idea further. 

Mental Exercise:

10 quiet minutes: Picture the place that is the home of your heart. Is it where you live now? Is it your childhood home? A church you frequented as a child? Your teenage best friends parents' house? Your first car? Take slow deep breaths with your eyes closed and think about "home" whatever it means to you. Try to remember a time when you were the happiest there, or when you felt like you were the most at home. Try to hold onto that memory and take note of colors, people who are around you, sounds, tastes, smells, anything that comes along with that memory.

Writing Exercise:

Write down the words that have given you the strongest impression of home. Some of the strongest memories are the sensory ones connecting your sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell to the world around you. Remember thse


Poetry Prompt:

Take your sensory perceptions and try to revisit "home" as someone absolutely new. What would this person see, feel? How would the experience be different for that new person? Is it a positive or negative? Have fun with this and push yourself a little bit. It's an interesting exercise in pushing our perceptions in life.






Tamara Woods writes, because she can’t imagine any other life. She grew up in the poorest state in the U.S., West Virginia, as a laid-off coal miner’s daughter. She learned from this that money isn’t the root of all happiness, but it sure makes it easier. One fateful 5 at a youth workshop she learned both the art of stolen kisses and being open in her poetry: lessons she’s never forgotten. Tamara’s poetry is spoken word with a heavy emphasis on things that we all know and do. Her fiction hits on darker, uncomfortable subjects, because she’s a firm believer that stories can be beautiful without being pretty. She is the Editor of The Reverie Journal, online poetry site. She is the moderator of #writestuff a writing tweetchat that's every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. Find her poetry on her blog, PenPaperPad. Connect on Social Media: Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and check out her book and writing videos on YouTube.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Poetry Prompt - Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh


"Artists are storytellers. Each new piece is, in visual form, a poem, short story, or chapter in a longer novel. They can be imaginative works of fiction or descriptive nonfiction." ~Amy McGrath

Frida Kahlo


I spent the better part of the past several months working on a series of self-portraits. In each new drawing or painting, I tried to reveal a different aspect of my character, my personality, or my story. I attempted to express with imagery what I often find hard to put into words. Odd, isn't it? I write poetry and short stories. I keep a journal. But sometimes, I find it easier to express myself visually.


Pablo Picasso

THE PROMPT: For this week's prompt, I would like you to look at artists' self-portraits. (I'm including some here for you, but there are multitudes of others available with a quick search.) Look closely and see if you can tell what the artist might be trying to say or reveal. Choose one of these that I'm providing, find one on the web, or draw one of yourself (bonus points!) Then write a poem about the self-portrait.

Jenny Saville

Kahinde Wiley

Lucien Freud

Chuck Close

Amy McGrath



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Poetry Prompt: Inspired by Emily Dickinson & Your To-Do's




Today’s prompt was inspired by two things: 

One: The understanding we are, each of us, quirky.


Two:  If one of literary history’s very quirkiest members, Emily Dickinson, had a to-do list, it might read like the poem below.

Therefore, our idiosyncratic ways may also be fashioned into a poem.

Earlier today my children and I were discussing what our own poems might focus on. “Existential dread,” suggested eighteen-year-old Emma. "My poem would go something like this:


"Monday – feel existential dread

Take a nap

Eat mac and cheese

Consider the sadness of dairy farmers

Express angst while singing in the shower


Express existential dread on social media

Nap again"


My son got a giggle when I suggested his would say,

“Put on a yellow t-shirt and denim shorts.

Nintendo 3DSXL in Mom’s glove compartment

Be the first one to wait for the bus."

The next day might say:

"Put on a yellow t-shirt... with lettering? and denim shorts.
Nintendo 3DSXL in Mom's glove compartment
Let some one else be the first one to wait for the bus""

We all have our set patterns and don’t use our highly practiced intellectual curiosity to change anything in our behavior, just as Emily Dickinson appeared to really like white dresses!


Step 1: Read the Poem:


Emily Dickinson's To-Do List
by Andrea Carlisle

Monday
Figure out what to wear—white dress?
Put hair in bun
Bake gingerbread for Sue
Peer out window at passersby
Write poem
Hide poem

Tuesday
White dress? Off-white dress?
Feed cats
Chat with Lavinia
Work in garden
Letter to T.W.H.

Wednesday
White dress or what?
Eavesdrop on visitors from behind door
Write poem
Hide poem

Thursday
Try on new white dress
Gardening—watch out for narrow fellows in grass!
Gingerbread, cakes, treats
Poems: Write and hide them

Friday
Embroider sash for white dress
Write poetry
Water flowers on windowsill
Hide everything

= = =

Step 2:
Make a list of up to five of your idiosyncrasies

Step 3:
Add variations to your idiosyncrasies (like Emily Dickinson’s questioning of her white dress)

Step 4:
Shuffle the list of idiosyncrasies

Step 5:
Write your poem!

For an extra challenge, play with onomatopoeia by purposefully injecting sound words into lines of your poem. Think about how they might fit that is quirky, fun and unexpected yet makes sense.

HAVE FUN!!