Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When You Have No Ideas of Your Own

I keep hearing my poet friends say that they need to generate new work but can't seem to get started. They've probably heard me saying the same thing. Does this have something to do with the time of year? Is there a big creativity sag after the holidays? Is that sag weighted down by the prospect of the winter months still ahead? Whatever the cause, it does seem that some of us need a kick in the pants, also known as inspiration. When we don't have any fresh ideas, it's time to turn to the people who do. Here's a handful of sites where you'll find poetry prompts.

1. Adele Kenny's The Music in It. Adele posts a new prompt each Saturday. Each prompt is preceded by an image and links to relevant model poems. Then comes the prompt along with possible variations. Good instruction here.

2. Donna Vorreyer's Tow Truck. Donna has recently abandoned her weekly prompts here, but she's going to maintain her archive from the past year, so you have lots to choose from there.

3. Donna Vorreyer's Poetry Mix Tape. This is a new feature. Once a week Donna will post a favorite poem with some discussion of why she likes it as well as some discussion of the craft in the poem. The poem will be followed by a writing suggestion. As this project has just launched, the archive is empty, but it will soon be filling.

4. Anjie Kokan's Prompts for Writers. A new prompt appears approximately every 5 days. Prompts often cross genres. Occasionally features a Guest Prompter.

5. Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides. This is the site Robert keeps for Writer's Digest, and it's 's a veritable feast of prompts.

6. Margo Roby's Wordgathering. Her Friday Freeforall offers an amazing gathering of other sites where you can find all kinds of prompts. A regular treasure chest here.

7. Ken Ronkowitz's Poets Online. Ken offers one prompt per month. This site invites its users to submit the poems they write for posting in the following month. An archive is maintained. Since Ken has been maintaining this site for quite a few years, the archive is loaded.

8. Finally, if you're not already subscribed to my monthly Poetry Newsletter, consider joining. It's free. Each issue contains a model poem and a prompt based on the model. Sign-up form in the right sidebar.


  1. Thank you for these. Here's another little suggestion for inspiration/motivation: read good poetry. Nothing makes me want to write more than reading great poems. I have found that the more I like a collection, the longer it takes me to finish it - because I'm constantly putting it down and grabbing my pen.

  2. Excellent list. I've visited a number of these blogs. Another very good one is Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales, which provides a photo prompt weekly.

  3. Hello,

    I enjoy your blog and your work!

  4. thank you 'teach'. You are an asset to this site.

  5. Thanks, poets. I hope the list will stimulate many new poems, some of them perhaps mine!

    1. Thank you for the mention. Made my day to see it.


  6. Good. I think the site will make some other people's day.


Let Me Know What You Think

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...