Fortune Cookie Refrain Line Prompt (by Lynn Levin)

Lynn Levin
Lynn Levin

If you break open enough fortune cookies, pretty soon you’ll find a fortune with enough mystery, pithiness, and flexibility to serve as a refrain line in a villanelle or pantoum.  So have dinner in a Chinese restaurant, and you just might find that your dessert brings you a great line for a poem.

The fortune-cookie-refrain-line prompt is very effective in class. I sometimes buy a quantity of fortune cookies and hand them out in class, usually two to a student. Chances are at least one of the fortunes will work as a refrain line…and the students enjoy the snack.

Some of my students have written amazing poems with fortune cookie refrain lines.

–Lynn Levin

Submit to Ragged Sky Anthology (Chocolate and Coffee)


(The tiger is a shout-out to Small World Coffee [] which, like Ragged Sky Press, is based in Princeton, NJ area.)

Ragged Sky Press is accepting (starting February 14th) submissions for their upcoming anthology: poems related to chocolate and coffee.

RS News Page:

Submission Details: