Prompt: Lesson in Elegy

Read the poem “Your Birthday in the California Mountains” by Kenneth Rexroth. Write an elegy the way he does, misleading the reader that the subject of the elegy is still alive. Address the poem to the person who died. Keep it simple, clear, straightforward, and honest. From In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowitt.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

A Member Responds: Niagra Falls in Winter – David Jibson

Prompt: The Right to Write

From Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.Set aside a half hour:

Settle yourself in to write. First take ten minutes to describe where you are. (I’m in my office and furious.) Try to capture your mood, the room, anything delightful or interesting that catches your attention. Number your paper from 1-5. Very quickly list five things that would be interesting to write about. Choose one topic. What would you write about it? Why would you write about it? Spend five or so minutes writing about that.Do not go for Art, capital A, or even writing, capital W. Think of this instead as word play. Do not worry about being deep or sensible or practical.

Elizbeth Kerlikowske

Prompt: Death is a fact of life.

I had a post up a couple of months ago having to do with writing about death. Someone complained that now was no time to do that. I disagree. Death is a fact of life and cannot be ignored. From In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit. Write a poem in which you are reminded that you too will one day die. It could be prompted by something you see (roadkill) or a song loved by someone who’s passed. Talk about the objects more than your feelings. They will come through.

Here’s an example by Ted Kooser, Death of a Dog.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske