Tag Archives: Poetry Prompts

A Focused Free-Write Poetry Prompt

For today’s poetry prompt, we will try a focused free-write.

What is a focused free-write, you say?

A focused free-write is when you free-write, in longhand, with a particular passage – or in this case poem – in mind.

And if you’re not sure what it is to “free-write,” it simply means to write non-stop without lifting your pen or pencil or stopping to make any corrections to grammar, spelling, or punctuation, for a set period of time not to exceed 20 minutes.

The idea is to get your good ideas down on paper and capture your inspired thinking.

The focus of today’s free-write is Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope is the thing with feathers,” which I discussed in an earlier blog post. The poem reads as follows:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

Your free-write can focus on any image or line from the poem or perhaps on the abstract idea of hope itself.

Later, see if you can lift a line or two from your free-write and generate a poem draft.

Good luck, have fun, and write on.




The Poet’s Toolkit: Online Writing Workshop to Begin in October

Accepting registrations now:

The Poet’s Toolkit
Five week self-paced online workshop for writers

While this five-week course will focus on several of the most integral craft elements of poetry writing, it is suitable for writers in any genre. Whether new to creative writing or a long-time practitioner, this online class will help you bring greater focus and new energy to your writing.

Each lesson will center on a particular skill and will include sample readings and discussion of the week’s craft element. A selection of representative poems meant to spark lively discussion will be included as will a number of fun and engaging writing prompts.

Students are invited to write a poem each week in response to any of the readings or prompts. While sharing is always optional, students may do so on a private discussion board. Students are also free to simply follow along with the weekly lessons.

Feedback on poems from me is available on request.

  • Week One: Drawing on vivid details and sensory images for your poems
  • Week Two: Creating surprising similes, metaphors, and other figurative images
  • Week Three: Narrative to imagination (moving from chronology to association)
  • Week Four: Reinvigorating syntax and sentences
  • Week Five: Serious fun with serious revision

Price: $20.00 for ala cart classes or $75.00 for all five weeks. Scholarships are available to students and recent graduates. Contact Lisa at zingarapoet@gmail.com for more information or to register.


New Picks for the New Year

Misc iPhone 2015 025Welcome to 2016, y’all.

It feels great to have Zingara Poet back in rotation of this juggling act called the poet’s life. The last two and a half years have witnessed my move from the High Desert to the Low Country and finally, after years of agonizing over the decision, the completion of an MFA program; two major events that have taken a bit of a toll on the consistency of the publication of poetry picks.

Now I’m looking forward to a poetry-filled 2016 that will see the publication of a number of wonderful poems to Zingara’s Poetry Picks. Readers should look forward to a cadre of new poetry prompts designed to generate inspired writing, several new poet interviews, and, time permitting (in my schedule, I mean), a number few book reviews.

This year’s picks are seriously good and I’m forever amazed at the quality of poems submitted — I can’t even begin to express how much enjoyment I get out of reading them. If you haven’t heard, the deadline for 2016 has been extended until the last day of January, so if you didn’t get around to submitting your poems yet, there’s still time.

Remember to subscribe to the blog or follow me on twitter to keep up with poetry picks, prompts, and other related poetry news.

Thanks for your support and HAPPY WRITING!