Friday Find: Poetry Exercises

Although I haven’t been blogging about it, I’ve spent the last several weeks enrolled in yet another online poetry class. This time, having finished the basic poetry sequence offered by my previous instructor, I decided to try something new.

And it’s been great. Trouble is, the class is ending next week. One thing I’ve learned from all these online courses is that I really do benefit from assignments. So to keep myself writing, I want to find some good sources for poetry prompts and exercises. I’ve already got files and bookshelves filled with fiction exercises, but I’m still new to the world of poetry.

So, practicing poets, please help me out. Leave a comment referring me to your favorite sources for poetry prompts and exercises (print or online), and tell me how they’ve helped you.

Thanks in advance for helping me develop this list of “finds,” and have a great weekend!

8 thoughts on “Friday Find: Poetry Exercises

  1. Diane Lockward says:

    Hi Erika–You might find some inspiration at A new prompt is posted each month and all old prompts are archived, so you’ll find a multitude of poems and prompts.

  2. Erika D. says:

    Thanks for the tip, Diane!

  3. Lisa R. says:

    This isn’t exactly about prompts –unless you count the entire month as a prompt – but lots of folks are going to try to write a poem a day during April, National Poetry Month.

  4. Erika D. says:

    You’re quite right, Lisa, and in fact I’ve just seen a list (courtesy of the WOMPO listserv) providing enough exercises to cover the month. Thanks for chiming in.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Three books that are an excellent source for prompts built around chapters that exemplar and expound on them are:

    The Practice of Poetry by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell
    The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux
    Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

    R. Joyce Heon

  6. Erika D. says:

    Those sound terrific. Thank you so much for the suggestions.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Erica, I have had four classes with Matthew Lippman and the pleasures of his exercises is the lectures that go with them. I wish that I could find prompts that have “lectures” and poem examples that go with them.


  8. Erika D. says:

    Hi, Anonymous Lisa (to distinguish you from Lisa R. who also commented here).

    I think I understand what you’re saying. I’d advise you to look up the books that Anonymous Joyce referenced above. I’ve taken a glance at them on, and a review of the Behn/Twichell book specifically mentions the usefulness of explanatory essays (possibly like lectures?) accompanying the exercises. I haven’t bought any of the books yet, but I have put them on my wishlist, so we’ll see….

    Hope that helps. Thanks for the comment.

Comments are closed.