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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