on poetry

July 25, 2021

“Look under the bed for poetry.”
Ruth Krauss
(July 25, 1901 – July 10, 1993)

a month of inspiration

January 2, 2021

Here is The Guardian’s 31-day literary diet for January, a day-by-day offering of poetry, film, stories, drama, etc., to guide you through the month.

a month of poetry prompts

November 12, 2020

If your poetry writing is feeling a little same-old, same-old, throw open the window onto a month of poetry prompts with the Two Sylvias Press Advent Calendar. All new prompts for 2020 will offer plenty of inspiration and remain available online through January 2021. Learn more about the Advent Calendar (for yourself or as a gift) and other treats available from Two Sylvias Press.

on poetry

October 31, 2020

“At first, when an idea, a poem, or the desire to write takes hold of you, work is a pleasure, a delight, and your enthusiasm knows no bounds. But later on you work with difficulty, doggedly, desperately. For once you have committed yourself to a particular work, inspiration changes its form and becomes an obsession, like a love-affair… which haunts you night and day! Once at grips with a work, we must master it completely before we can recover our idleness.”
Natalie Clifford Barney
(October 31, 1876 – February 2, 1972)

. . . . .

on poetry

August 19, 2020

“A poem that inspires others to write poems, a poem that gives rise to hundreds, even thousands of other poems is a poor second to a poem, or any work of art, that inspires even one person to change his or her life to turn toward greater meaning, or the quest for greater meaning.”
Li-Young Lee
(b. August 19, 1957)

. . . . .

on poetry

December 22, 2019

“Some days I can’t get an idea, and I think, ‘Man, I’m just washed up,’ but it’s just a mood.”
Jean-Michel Basquiat
(December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988)

. . . . .

still talking

April 3, 2019

Need some inspiration? They’ve got plenty for you over at TED.


June 23, 2018

It has been a while since we posted prompts, but this selection of 82 Writing Experiments by Bernadette Mayer, found on Language is a Virus, seemed just too good to pass up. While you’re there, check out the Text Manipulation and Text Generators links in the sidebars.

More on Bernadette Mayer here.

on poetry

August 29, 2017

“I sit down and I simply wait to see what’s going to occur to me, and whatever occurs to me, I write it down and then I try to follow that as though it were a conversation.”
Christopher Howell
(b. August 29, 1945)

. . . . .

a piggy bank of prompts

February 5, 2016

The Public Domain ReviewSometimes you need a little something extra to launch your poetry writing. If whatever gets you going — a walk, a visit with the cat, a cup of strong tea, morning (or evening) silence — doesn’t get you going, you might wander over to The Public Domain Review, which is dedicated to exploring “curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas” with a focus on those in the public domain.

Even if you’re not looking for a prompt, even if you don’t believe in prompts, you might just find something there that knocks you out of immobility. Maybe it will be that photo of a man in a spiracle, a phrase — “agony in red” or “cat and fiddle” (who knew?), for example — from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (something here to offend just about everyone), or an audio clip of Thomas Edison reading ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’

There’s much more, in many collections and genres. Set the timer — one can easily become lost among the treasures at The Public Domain Review.

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