Monday, 1 February 2021

It’s Poetry Friday! This week, Jone Rush MacCulloch is hosting the link-up of poetry posts from across the Kidlitosphere.

Welcome to my 9th Annual February Daily Poem Project.

For several years — in order to practice writing in community — my blog hosted a poetry project. We moved to Facebook in 2017 to accommodate the number of poets and writers who wanted to participate.

2021 Theme: Bodies

In this time of a global pandemic, has your attention turned to the body? Across the world, our human bodies are under attack by a powerful virus. Perhaps, as we all social distance, you have had more time to walk, take your body outside, exercise. Or maybe you have turned inward with meditation or begun a creative practice with your body’s hands. As a poet, has your body of work been affected by the year’s events? Let’s spend this month focusing on the beauty, vulnerability, and vast complexity of bodies — human and otherwise.

Beginning January 31, a group member will post a prompt related to our theme. I hope to share many of those prompts here on my blog, for those who’d like to follow along with the project.

When coming up with writing prompts, we interpret the topic loosely.


· are made up of systems
· can be human bodies, animal bodies, bodies of work, bodies of water
· are where we feel emotions and senses
· look snazzy in jazzy clothes
· are the source of dysphoria and joy

Your daily task is to write a poem based on that day’s body-inspired prompt.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PROJECT NEWBIES: The point of this exercise is to practice the habit of writing regularly, even if it’s just for one month.

For those of you following along, the first week’s prompts are in this post. Feel free to post your poetic responses in the comments.

Are you thinking, “What is this poetry project of which you speak, Laura?” Read about this year’s project here. And there is background on this project — now in its ninth year! — at this post.

Let’s do this!

DAY 1: Monday, February 1, 2021
Prompt from Laura Shovan

*Bodies Dance*

Choose one of these three routines or a favorite of your own. Write a poem.

Option 1: All girl dance crew covers the K-Pop boy group BTS’s “Not Today.”

Option 2: Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice.”
Option 3: Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 1985 film White Knights.

DAY 2: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Prompt from Tricia Stohr-Hunt (Shared with permission)

On a high school trip to NYC, my sister took me to have my palm read. I’ve been fascinated by hands ever since. I am inspired by all that hands can do, from magic and slight of hand, to communicating with the deaf, to creating art in its myriad forms, to making beautiful music, and so much more. I also know that hands have a darker side. They can wield weapons, choke, hit, pinch, stab, and hurt.

You might be inspired by Margaret Atwood and this excerpt (pictured here) from the poem

“You Begin.”
Or you might be inspired by the translated poem Hands at the link below.

What thoughts do you have about hands? What kind of poem will they inspire?

DAY 3: Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Prompt from Ruth Lehrer (Shared with permission.)

This magical woman lives down the road from me.
Visit sculptor Andrew Devries’ Facebook page to see the image. He describes it as “Nimue, Lady of the lake looking more like the snow queen!”

DAY 4: Thursday, February 4, 2021

Prompt from Scott Rhoades (Shared with permission.)

This is a fungus known as Dead Man’s Fingers.

Image Source: Alliance for the Bay

DAY 5: Friday, February 5, 2021
Prompt from Marilyn R. Garcia (Shared with permission)

Today we think about skin or whatever this prompt brings to mind! I have linked a page with the song lyrics in case you are more inclined to written words versus music and visuals. Enjoy. ?

DAY 6: Saturday, February 6, 2021

Photographic prompt by Jone Rush MacCulloch. (Posted with permission. Photograph may be shared only if credit is given to Jone Rush MacCulloch.)


Day 7: Sunday, February 7, 2021
Prompt from Linda Baie (Shared with permission)

I’m used to casual and friendly conversation with my usual store checkers. Yet I already know, the other kind of conversation, the one where you talk with someone over the apples at the grocery appears gone. Earlier this week I spoke with a middle-school teacher who lamented he was struggling with reading his students’ faces and body language while teaching “in” school. Then this from this NY Times article by an artist who shares: “I think of the human face as a theater that performs the actor inside, in flickers and puckers and pulls of 42 tiny muscles, in the rise and fall of blood that swirls with our emotions.”

Happy writing, everyone! To continue your February writing habit, the Week 2 prompts are here. Week 3 is here. And the last set of prompts are here.

Filed: Uncategorized

28 responses to “February Poetry Project: Week 1 Prompts”

  1. Sally Murphy says:

    I’m loving these prompts and may be back to share some poetry. thankyou!

  2. Molly Hogan says:

    I’m always amazed by how a prompt that I have to dig into can often yield richer rewards than one that I connect with immediately. Thanks for making me dig a bit this month already. Some of the unburied “treasures” are still hidden in my notebook, but I feel richer just knowing they’re there. Thanks for giving back so generously.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Molly. That’s one of the things I enjoy about this project. Other people’s prompts are a surprise and stretch me.

  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    I was scared of this prompt….a bit. But, I’m having so much fun! Here’s my draft-poem from today:

    February 5, 2021

    Today I take my fight
    to the enemy
    At 11:05
    I will roll up my sleeve
    offer the winter-pale skin
    of my upper arm
    to be swabbed with alcohol
    and injected with a dose
    of Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
    This is a planned attack
    by and for my compatriots.
    We are armed with
    science of virology
    masks and social distancing
    to put the enemy on the run.

    I might need a band-aid
    to cover my battle wound
    but I will
    wear it like a badge
    of honor

    (c) Linda Mitchell

  4. Linda Baie says:

    Like all the years, I love that you do this, Laura. It’s a treat & a marvelous challenge plus a big inspiration for me to write, write, write! Thank you!

  5. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    I have so enjoyed this project. This year’s theme is challenging me, but in a good way. Thank you for so generously hosting this poetry community each February.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks for being part of it, Kay. I was excited when I came up with these theme because I knew it would be rich ground for poems.

  6. Ruth says:

    Great prompts! Saving this page to see if I can write some of them.

  7. I’m playing catch up and I hope to share some of my poems from these prompts. They do take me to places new to me. Thanks! This is fun.

  8. Appreciations for providing sights/sounds/words that nourish the brain/heart down to the fingers, making them fly nimble on the keyboard/ flow over the notebook. I can tell that by the month’s end, alchemy will occur for some of your writers. So exciting, exciting.

  9. I love these. I have a draft for ‘hands’ and thinking of the others.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I’m always impressed with the prompts that everyone creates, Jone. One of the best parts of the project is having members of the group choose what we’re going to write about each day.

  10. Sally Murphy says:

    I came back, with my response to the February 1 prompt. I was inspired by the White Nights video.

    I move this way
    You do too
    I do me
    and you do you
    and as we dance
    and our eyes link
    our movements meld
    till they’re in synch.
    we dance in tune
    We dance in time
    Like a song we’re singing
    Like a poem we rhyme
    No one here
    but you and me
    as you do you
    and I do me.

    (c) Sally Murphy

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Sally. You captured not only the dance from the movie, but the push and pull of close relationships. (Yes! I can hear the rhythm.)

  11. Here’s my response to the first prompt. I have a beat in mind when I read it but I wonder if it will translate.



    Just Move



    I say

    Channel the beat
    Your feet and your toes start
    Tap, tap, tappin’
    That’s how it goes!

    when you move!


    Just move!
    © Janice Scully 2021

  12. Kathryn Apel says:

    Fabulous prompts, Laura. I am blundering through some necessary paperwork at the moment – but if I conquer it (WHEN I conquer it!) I might dip back here and get my fingers (and mind) moving. 🙂

    • Laura Shovan says:

      One of my favorite parts of the group is that 28 members each come up with a prompt to share. There are always surprises. They’re good for my brain and my poems.

  13. […] week, I spent some time on the prompts Laura Shovan posted on Poetry Friday LAST WEEK. BODIES are the theme for her February Poetry Project. Thank you, Laura, for inviting us to be part […]

  14. […] Read more about this theme at my Week 1 project post here. […]

  15. […] Read more about this theme at my Week 1 project post here. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

Learn More