Where to Find Poetry Prompts Online

Sometimes the muse is not enough.

Sometimes the muse is not enough.

Whether you call them “exercises,” “experiments,” “homework,” “writer’s block cures,” or “child’s play,” instructions for starting a poem can help keep a poet writing between classes, love affairs, tragedies, and whatever else inspires. There are many workshops and books full of prompts, but I often find that, when I want for a guided beginning, I need one that’s new to me and available in the moment. So I find the Internet an essential resource in this department. Here are some of the places to go to find prompts online.

  1. Rachel McKibben’s blog
  2. Little Sparks: 100 Writing & Reflection Prompts by Caits Meissner
  3. Filipino American Literature: A Plethora of Writing Prompts by Barbara Jane Reyes via the Poetry Foundation
  4. Poetic Forms via poets.org (Strictly speaking, forms are not prompts, but they can also be used as a productive constraint.)
  5. Creative Writing Prompts and Exercises: The Time is Now via Poets & Writers
  6. How One Thing Leads to Another: A Pathway by Edward Hirsch from The Poet’s Glossary (Poetic devices)
  7. Erasures via Wave Books
  8. Craft Fitness: On Writing Exercises by Roxane Gay via HTML Giant
  9. PEN USA Poetry Prompt Thursday archive
  10. Poetry Prompts via The Found Poetry Review
  11. Poetry Project: Ardor Writing Prompts by Karen Ah-hwei Lee from Ardor via Tupelo Press
  12. Ploughshares Blog
    1. All-Time Favorite Writing Prompts
    2. Summer-Inspired Writing Prompts
    3. For Those About to Write (We Salute you) #2: Prompts
    4. Eye Want (Persona poem ekphrasis)
    5. Experiments in Perspective
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