Poetry Prompts: 30 Prompts to Get you Through 30 for 30

April is almost a upon us and poets know what that means. The National Poetry Month 30 for 30 challenge is coming up! This is a challenge for poets of all types and experience levels to write 30 poems in the 30 days of April. Started in 1966 and organized by the National Academy of American Poets, the challenge is a fun way to get yourself thinking about poetry on a daily basis and write out whatever comes to mind.

But sometimes that’s the problem. Inspiration doesn’t happen when you want it to strike and sometimes you can be left with little idea of what to write, let alone how to write it. Here are some poetry prompts to get you through the month. And remember, inspiration can come in any form. Embrace it!

  1. Recall your first memory. Write a poem about what happens in it and how it makes you feel today.
  2. Write a letter to your favorite meal in an attempt to convince it to myself it.
  3. Dedicate a poem to a special person in your life and write about your favorite interaction that you’ve had with them.
  4. Write a eulogy for your favorite poet, whether they’re dead or alive
  5. Imagine you went into a different career than you did. What do you think would have happened?
  6. You’ve lost all of your poetry in a tragic accident (computer crash, theft, misplacement, etc). What do  you do now?
  7. Write a love letter to sleep.
  8. Go on a nature walk. Write a poem afterwards describing the natural world using unnatural terms.
  9. Write about a mundate topic such as morning commute or the way you make your coffee.
  10. You have to stop writing poetry. How is your life different? How it is the same?
  11. Make up the origins of April Fool’s Day.
  12. Invent a new word, define and use that word in your poem.
  13. Experiment with a blackout poem. Use a page of a novel you never finished as its basis.
  14. Write a sonnet to sometime important in your life who inspires you.
  15. You’ve been awarded a monumental prize in poetry. Write your acceptance speech.
  16. Write a funny letter to every journal or magazine who has rejected your poetry.
  17. Write a poem from the point of view of one of your pets.
  18. Find an obscure form of poetry, one you’ve ever used, and write using that style.
  19. Write from the point of view of a character in a novel you love. What are they thinking? What are they going through?
  20. Write a poem appropriately subtitled “To Gertrude Stein, With Respect.”
  21. What was your first job? Write a poem about what you learned while working there.
  22. Imagine you are part of a 15th century royal family. Describe your court.
  23. Write about the beach. Why you went there, what you like or dislike about it, whether or not you plan to return.
  24. You get a call from the cell phone of a person who has passed away. Do you answer it?
  25. What is your worst fear? Write a funny poem about confronting it in an unexpected way.
  26. Write a found poem comprising of lyrics from songs you enjoy. Make the lines fit seamlessly.
  27. Visit an art museum, either in person or digitally, and write about a piece that captures your imagination.
  28. Take a piece of writing you wrote when you were first starting out as a poet. Respond to the piece as the poet you are now.
  29. Write a poem about getting lost with someone who would love to get lost with.
  30. Write a Tanka form poem about water.

Happy writing! Sign up for the Little River Poetry Festival here!

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