Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

National Poetry Month: Home

NAPOMO '21 Events

National Poetry Month Writing Prompts

Week of 4/1 - 4/7

  • Make a list of some of the most memorable moments in your life. Some of them will be large, some may be a goal you have accomplished. Write down some of the smaller moments that are special to you. Write a poem about one of the events you listed

  • Take something that happened to you and write a poem about it in the third person

  • What communities do you belong to or feel like you belong to? Write a poem from the voice of the collective “we.”

  • Make up a secret about yourself. It doesn’t have to be true or completely true. And write a poem about it

  • Write a poem about when someone surprised you with kindness

  • Write a poem about your first experience seeing a play or live performance

  • Write a poem about a time you stood up for yourself

 

Week of 4/8 - 4/14

  • Write a poem where you undertake a journey to an unknown place, but where you are searching for something

  • Find a phrase that is commonly used in another language. Write a poem inspired by that

  • Write a poem about a dream that you once had

  • Write a poem in the voice of a family member or a friend

  • Take an image or a dialogue from a film, and write a poem about it

  • Write a poem of praise about yourself or someone you love

  • Write a poem about a period of history that interests you. If you’re stuck, read a journal entry from someone from that period, and write a poem inspired by that

 

Week of 4/15 - 4/21

  • Flip through a book and write down twenty words that strike you. Write a poem using those words

  • Draw a picture of the building you live in, the rooms, the layout, the scenery. Write words or phrases in the different rooms or areas. Then write a poem using some of the words or phrases you wrote down.

  • Take a poem that you have written and cut it down by half

  • Read “homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton and then write a poem about your body in response to it

  • List the objects in your room or home. Then write a poem about their history, and your relationship to them

  • Take a poem that you have written and rewrite it, repeating a particular line, and ending with that same line

  • Write a poem to a crush or someone you care about deeply

 

Week of 4/22 - 4/28

  • Find a favorite recipe. Now write a poem inspired or in the style of that recipe about a family secret—yours or someone else’s

  • Turn on the radio to any channel. Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear (lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.)

  • Write a poem where a literary figure shows up and tells you something and/or gives you something

  • Many famous poets found inspiration from the current politics in their time. Open up a newspaper or news website, and create a poem inspired by an article you find

  • Pick a poem you want to revise. Cut half the words/sentences/stanzas. This forces you to use clear, vivid words. Rewrite the shorter poem.

  • Take two lines you love from a poem that isn’t working. Write a new poem using one as the first line and the other as the last line

  • Write a poem inspired by spring. Challenge yourself by writing about how springtime is personally significant to you

 

4/29 - 4/30

  • Alter the tense of a poem you have written and rewrite it. Changing between past, present, and future can revivify a poem that’s gotten rusty

  • Write a poem giving thanks to a poet or to writing a poem a day. Use a line from one of the poems you wrote this month to either begin or end it

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Kelly McElroy