Almost everyone here takes a break in July and August, so AppleHouse Poetry Online will be doing the same. It will give me some time to paint more than a few walls in Villa Les Marronniers, and hopefully to get down to some writing myself. And reading… I have missed reading so much. So, all in all, I’m likely to be the palest person on the Cote d’Azur this year!
But so as not to leave you bereft for the summer, and if you have time in between barbecues, airport terminals and shaking sand out of towels, here’s a list of 10 prompts for poems/free writing over the next couple of months. I’ll choose a Best of Summer Prize Poem at the beginning of September from all those posted, and I’ll pop into the comments box from time to time too.
Take care, bonnes vacances, and write well.
AppleHouse Poetry Online Summer School Prompts
1. Experiment with writing at times you normally wouldn’t, for example:
a. the moment you wake up
b. in the dark without the light on
c. in a moving vehicle (but preferably not driving!)
d. while having a bath
2. Write a poem about how you have, or will, forgive someone or something.
3. Write about a time when you were lost, literally or figuratively. Maybe include both in one poem.
4. Open a dictionary half a dozen times at random and write down a word each time. Write a poem that includes all those words.
5. Walk in a place that you think is ugly and find something beautiful there. Write about it.
6. Write about salt.
7. Take the first line of a poem (preferably one you’re not familiar with) and carry on writing your own.
8. Write a page of statements about yourself that are completely false. Now add phrases like: I am, I have never, I will, I believe. Use repetition to try and convince your reader of their truth.
9. Write down five sounds you can hear. Then list the things you associate with those sounds. A car engine might remind you of being picked up at the station. The clanking of crockery of the time you worked as a waitress. See where these associations take you.
10. Brainstorm for associations – words, phrases, images, memories, emotions – around ‘heat’. Keep going until you feel there is nothing left to write. Then make yourself write some more even though it feels impossible. What we need to say often lies deeper than we realise.