Thursday, 18 February 2021

Ruth is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday link-up. Please join the part at her blog, There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town.

This past week, we have been working through the saggy middle of my annual February Daily Poem Project.

You may have heard novelists complain that their energy wanes midway through writing a book. That can happen with this project too. I coach participants to focus on getting a poem written without judging it. To embrace the weird and awkward. When stuck, I advise leaning on poetic forms: acrostic, sonnet, Blackjack, or one that’s new to you. The constrictions of a form can force our minds to take unexpected paths.

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.

2021 Theme: Bodies

Read more about this theme at my Week 1 project post here.

Every day, a member of the project shares a prompt related to our theme. With their permission, I am posting those prompts here on my blog, for those who’d like to follow along with the project. Your daily task is to write a poem based on that day’s body-inspired prompt. 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 third week’s prompts are in this post. Feel free to post your poetic responses in the comments.

Ready for the next set of prompts?

DAY 15: Monday, February 15, 2021
Prompt by Linda Mitchell (Shared with permission)

I’ve been weeding my school library and in doing so came across this treasure in the stacks. This “old” book was new to me and a lyrical gem as well as a primary source. Take the image or words in any way you wish. I so look forward to seeing what comes from these pages. The book details are at the bottom of each pic if you want to cite the source.

DAY 16: Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Prompt by Pat Valdata (Shared with permission)

DAY 17: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Prompt by Rebecca Brock (Shared with permission)

The Brain.

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—

For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and you—beside—
The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As sponges—Buckets—do—
The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—

As Syllable from Sound—

Emily Dickinson, c. 1862

Here are two articles to guide your writing.

DAY 18: Thursday, February 18, 2o21
Prompt and photos by Stacey L. Joy (Shared with permission)What lives in shadows? What stories do your shadows keep? Is something haunting you in your shadow?

A few years ago, I decided to take pictures of friends at our annual pool party. We realized the shadow pictures were pretty amazing so everyone wanted one. I’m glad I kept them over the years. Shadows hold many mysteries and I hope you’ll find a shadow here or anywhere to inspire your writing.I wrote a skinny.


I refuse to live in shadows again


In shadows again I refuse to live

©Stacey L. Joy

DAY 19: Friday, February 19, 2021

Prompt by Patricia VanAmburg (Shared with permission)

Astral Bodies

I mean the light bodies described in this Wikipedia article.

If that topic doesn’t interest you, astral bodies can also mean planets and stars.

DAY 20: Saturday, February 20, 2021
Prompt by Ann Haman (Shared with permission)

HAIR! Below are links to sources of hair inspiration: a spoken word poem by Elizabeth Acevedo and another poem detailing a relationship with hair across time. Enjoy.

DAY 21: Sunday, February 21, 2021
Prompt and photograph by Susan Brisson (Shared with permission)

For Sunday, February 21/21 we will focus on all things to do with our feet. From a baby’s first steps to a loved one’s last, from frozen toes to raging blisters.

When the theme came out I knew right away I wanted to look at our feet and I am thrilled no one has chosen this part of our bodies. I have included a few articles for inspiration, even one on Poetic Feet and if human feet don’t do it for you there’s always the blue-footed booby.

Here is a photograph of a human food with Pablo Neruda’s poem:

Glorious feet- run with it.

Happy writing, everyone! To catch up on any prompts you  missed, Week 1 is here. And Week 2 is here. And the last set of prompts are here.

20 responses to “February Poetry Project: Week 3 Prompts”

  1. Linda Mitchell says:

    Still having fun and am so grateful for this annual community of writing. Truly, it’s one of my favs. Thanks again!

  2. […] Happy writing, everyone! To continue your February writing habit, the Week 2 prompts are here. And Week 3 is here. […]

  3. Irene Latham says:

    The brain is wider than the sky indeed! Great prompts – I love the title of Linda’s library book. This is such a great tradition, Laura. Thanks for all you give. xo

  4. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    Another week of fabulous prompts and even more fabulous poems! Thank you for the gift of this month-long writing commumity

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Kay! I look forward to reading the poems every day. I love the way our group makes space for sharing rough drafts.

  5. Ruth says:

    Such great prompts!

  6. Linda Baie says:

    It continues to be wonderful each day to discover the next great prompt, Laura. I am in awe of the varied responses to one single thing! Have a lovely weekend!

  7. I’m falling behind and need to catch up! I love today’s prompts. Thanks, Laura.

  8. Mary Lee says:

    These prompts will be waiting for me in June. Thank you for an amazing resource!

  9. I keep checking in, but haven’t taken the plunge to write from these amazing prompts yet, Laura. I will though when life gets less ‘saggy’. 😉

  10. Thank you, Laura, for the theme, BODIES, that has made the month of February pass so quickly. When the weather is so cold, poetry warms my heart and so does this community of poets that you created. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks for being part of it, Carol. I love that we can focus on the process of writing together, rather than the outcome. It fills my creativity cup every year.

  11. […] Happy writing, everyone! To catch up on any prompts you  missed, Week 1 is here. And Week 3 is here. […]

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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.

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