Why not kick off National Poetry Month by exploring your poetic voice? League member Robin Richardson wrote a list of writing prompts to share; use them to start a new piece, re-inspire you to dust off something you’ve left behind, find the ending you couldn’t quite put into words, or just to get pen to paper! This #NPM18, Robin is celebrating the release of her new poetry collection, Sit How You Want (and we highly recommend adding it to your NPM reading list)!
1. Write an ode from your favourite fictional character to an unlikely recipient.
2. Play with words without regard for meaning except in the emotional impact of the sound you create.
3. Insight an ideological revolution.
4. Eavesdrop and steal.
5. Write a letter of complaint to your body.
6. Write the life you could have had if you’d done things differently – be hyperbolic.
7. Address the world now that you are its sole ruler.
8. Address the world as it discarded clown.
9. Imagine an arctic expedition with your enemy.
10. Use the word “given” ten times.
11. Organize the images of your dreams by likeness and present without punctuation.
12. Grapple with a complex concept in physics or biology. Be musical in your grappling.
13. Be a deeply flawed inspirational speaker.
14. Like Berryman, create an alter ego to express your exaggerated worst self.
15. Like Plath write your internal drama into greater historical context. Be irreverent.
16. Write a series of one line poems that succinctly illustrate an abstract mood though a literal scenario.
17. Be honest. Be utterly honest.
18. Argue against your favourite work of art.
19. Imagine your relationship with a fairytale villain.
20. Imagine you have all the power.
Robin Richardson is the author of three collections of poetry, and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, Poetry Magazine, The Walrus, Hazlitt, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, has won the Fortnight Poetry Prize in the U.K., The John B. Santorini Award, The Joan T. Baldwin Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and ARC Poetry Prizes, among others. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is out now with Véhicule Press.