R.A. Villanueva, Pt. 2 #writetoday


Consider David Hockney:

“Limitations are really good for you. They are a stimulant. If you were told to make a drawing of a tulip using five lines, or one using a hundred, you’d be more inventive with the five.”

And consider Walker Evans:

"Stare. It is the way to educate your eye and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long."


 Now go make something of


at least 14 lines

a word or phrase that belongs to you

a word or phrase or image that belongs to someone else






any animal (living or dead) except birds


a haunting

Cristiana Baik, Pt. 2 #writetoday

Think about a situation, person, place, you’ve long wanted to write about. Write a short list of words that you associate with this memory (up to 10 words). Grab a recording device and for two minutes, talk about/through this memory (use the list of words as catalysts, if you need to). Listen to the recording, then write a sonnet—a loose version of a sonnet or strictly abiding to one of its conventional forms, up to you—incorporating phrases, words from the recording.

Soham Patel, Pt. 2 #writetoday

Conduct a “Google Image” search that looks something like this:

“portraits of __[patels]___”  …

but insert instead any one of your names or family names (your sir name or your good name - mother’s/maiden or middle).  Of course you might see yourself. 

Pick one portrait from the search results and focus on it for three minutes.  Write three lines that about that face. 

Now think of one of your family members, given or chosen.  Think about that person’s face for three more minutes and write three lines about that face you are remembering.

(Because Bushra’s question made me remember the days when my foi was dying some years back and how we gathered in the next room for laughing yoga so she could hear the happy sound, I conducted a “Google Video” search of “family laughing” just to see what would come up).

Put your left hand on your stomach while you watch this, the first video that came up and when it is over write three lines describing what your body felt like while you watched it.

Write three more lines—about searching.  Use these words:  type, return [or enter], and scroll.

Rinse and repeat (revise) as needed.  I look forward to reading.

marlon esguerra, pt. 2 #writetoday

Hey, I found a prompt in my answer to Todd’s question—

Try to speed read a piece of writing and then translate it in your own words, in your own voice. Try it with a poem you’ve never read before; do it with one of your favorite poems; hell, do it with one of your own poems. Just suppress any subvocalization (internal speech) and go for it—chalk up as many words as you can. See what or who or what new makes it through the suppression.

Michelle Penaloza, Pt. 2 #writetoday

Write a poem using repetend, a reoccurring word or phrase, choosing two of the following words: angel, whisky, crow, apology, Braille, enough. Also, use the word “love” not as verb nor as a noun, but as an address to someone.

Time is limited, yet nowadays there is a limitless amount of great literature and art one can take in. What is your criteria for choosing what or whom to read, in terms of growing as a poet?

Jason Bayani, Pt. 2, #writetoday

(Inspired by Warsan Shire’s poem, Backwards)

What are some of the most significant moments in your life. Good, bad, and all things in between. What are the moments you feel define you? What stands out? What images, symbols, and landmarks do you associate with yourself? Now make a list of what you would change and what you would keep the same, then rewrite the story of your life. 




Today you’re stealing from screenwriters. 

Before you write the poem use the three-act structure to create the outline.

If you want to add another step, think of the characters that will be in your poem-screenplay and write brief back stories for each of them.

To create the outline, use only 1-3 sentences for each item.

Act One (Set Up)

Inciting Incident:

Turning Point (PLOT TWIST!!):

Act Two (Confrontation/Development)


Turning Point:

Act Three (Resolution)



Mg Roberts, Pt. 1: I begin again with omissions. I begin with the fragment,

For each day of National Poetry Month one of our fellows will explore the breadth of poetry in three ways: through a question from another fellow, through a poem and through a writing prompt, #writetoday.


Dan Lau asks, If an animal lives inside the spaces of your poem, what would it be and can you describe it?

Mg Roberts responds, 

Through an excerpt of something yet to arrive:
The Earth is lengthwise.
Arriving like a dissolved star, a collection of sounds interpreted or divined through curvature.
Folded under now in gesture, a starfish’ hard exterior overshoots the break in the rocks.
Tomorrow is still March.



I begin again with omissions. I begin with the fragment, which will never occur again, even in repetition.

I begin as a series of small bones projecting towards articulation. Finding something to say, linking direction and nothing at the same time: a vertebra. I want to write a book that describes the end of the disk, a small hole through which the spinal cord passes. I want you to be able to see it as I do. Pulsing.

In the peripheral landscape each parallel line attempts connection, searches for correspondence in dirt. Occupying a strange place I find myself physically insignificant in black and white stills reworked, bending.

Endlessly looped, and silent.



Born in Subic Bay, Philippines, Mg Roberts is the author of not so, sea; and she’s about to have her third baby real, real soon.

Dan Lau, Pt. 2, #writetoday

Imagine you’re in a deli that’s been owned by a family for generations. There are heavy legs of cured meat on the wall and lots of halogen lights illuminating the cold cases. Above the cases stands a man. In the man’s hand is a cleaver. In his other hand is a rag. Tell me what the rag looks like then tell me how the cleaver feels. If the cleaver could be anything else, what would it be? Is there regret?