Prompt #25: Totally Retro

Prompt #25: Totally Retro

The Southeast Review runs a pretty amazing Writers Regimen twice a year.  For $15, subscribers get a cool batch of daily writing prompts, links to podcasts, riff words to play with, reading SERexercises, etc.  I’ve participated for several years and have never regretted it.  The subscription has allowed the journal to continue, despite several years of budget constraints from the university.  Not to mention, the subscribers get to participate with other poets and writers from around the country.  I wanted to share a sample of the Regimen, without giving too much away—after all, that program works hard to keep the Regimen going each year.

Totally Retro —

Ezra Pound might encourage us to “Make it new,” but there’s something to be said for revisiting the past and discovering the wonders it contains. There’s a reason (beyond pure profit) popular movies get remade, wonderful old TV shows become new movies, and people will never stop rewriting fairy tales. Take this opportunity to revisit something from your past (go further back if you prefer) and give it new life through your writing. Rehash a memorable event, retell a story you once heard, rewrite someone else’s work to give it the ending you would have preferred: the point is to explore the past and practice your skills in reclaiming this as your own


Prompt #17: Water

Prompt #17: Water

imagesCAS4FNBPI can’t explain my fascination with water.  It appears in many of my poems from Sand River (note the title) and many of the cities I’ve called home have been next to large bodies of water.

Recently I purchased a yoga video by Shiva Rea.  She believes that since our bodies are primarily made up of water, this liquid inherently influences our very spirits.  Water also often spiritually represents baptism and rebirth in many poems.  Write a poem that explores water ways in your life.


Prompt # 15: Character as Poem

From Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems 2002

Prompt #15: Character as Poem

Take the time to describe someone, either from memory or someone you currently know.  Avoid sentimentality–this is not an Ode or an homage, so describe without cheese.  Instrument of Choice describes a lonely girl with both humor and a biting cruelty.

Instrument of Choice by Robert Phillips (56)

She was a girl
no one ever chose
for teams or clubs,
dances or dates,

so she chose the instrument
no one else wanted:
the tuba. Big as herself,
heavy as her heart.

Its golden tubes
and coils encircled her
like a lover’s embrace.
Its body pressed on hers.

Into its mouthpiece she blew
Life, its deep-throated
Oompahs, oompahs sounding,
Almost, like mating cries.

Prompt #8: Tweet-a-Poem

If you would like, you may email your responses directly to me at, or leave your efforts in the comment section below each day’s prompt.  I would be happy to share work and links back to bloggers and poets that have decided to participate.
Many of you may already have a poem or piece that fits the prompt, but try to write and share something new.  Flex muscles.  Write.  You can always revise later.
As a special concession for today’s poetry prompt, AND if you have a Twitter account, let’s share our work via that social media platform.  You can share your Twitter name in the comment section.  I want to encourage you to use #tweetapoem so that we can find our various poetic options.
Don’t have a twitter account? No worries–you have two options:
1. Create a Twitter account. It’s fun and easy:
2. Simply play with the idea of the limited form, the quick and fast splurge of words.

Prompt #8: Tweet-a-Poem

Let’s try a twitter poem—either a single flash poem of
140 characters OR a series of stanzas of 140 characters each.  Subject of your choosing.