Writing Prompt: Spirit of Place

Writing Prompt–Spirit of Place (by Valerie Fox)

Here’s an exercise for writing about a place. Choose a place that’s important to you (emotionally resonant) or simply very memorable.

Step 1
Make a list of questions (10 plus) about each of the following:

Your town or hometown
One or more houses you have lived in
One room in the house (or each of the houses) you have lived in)

Answer these questions in detail.

Step 2
Locate one or more artifacts relating to your writing.
Include words and descriptions based on this in your next draft of your poem.

Step 3
After some time has passed, return to your writing. Try to convey the sense of the place through the language and syntax of your poem. Try to reorganize the ideas, stanzas, or images. (Try something completely different from the original order.)

For discussion–
How is the spirit of place being hinted at or pictured?
Are you using place names and other proper nouns? If so, how and why?

Here’s a phenomenal resource, the Poetry Atlas, for writers and teachers:

Writing Prompt: Thanksgiving Rituals

We thought you might use this prompt over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The prompt is based on an idea suggested by Don Riggs.

Take some field-notes on your holiday experiences. Describe in detail your Thanksgiving day rituals. Write from the perspective of a specific type of scholar. For instance, you might use the voice of an anthropologist. As preparation, read one or both of the following:

“‘We Gather Together’: Consumption Rituals of Thanksgiving Day” by Melanie Wallendorf and Eric J. Arnould, from The Journal of Consumer Research,  Vol. 18, No. 1 (June 1991).

For a view from 1952, “Thanksgiving Is Worldwide” by Horace Loftin, from The Science News-Letter,  Vol. 62, No. 21 (Nov. 22, 1952).

You can find the Loftin here: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3931471?uid=3739808&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102905793321

As an alternative style, write a flash fiction piece based on your field-notes.

Naturally, you might substitute other occasions or holidays for Thanksgiving.

Thanks, Don!

“My Side of the Story: A Fibonacci Poem” (by Jesi Kim)

My Side of the Story: A Fibonacci Poem

by Jesi Kim

That point in time
You knew there was a line
You should not have crossed that line
You should have seen things from my angle
But no, you stuck your triangular nose into my business
A place that was as guarded as the Pentagon, and now you know
You should have followed the instructions on the red octagon, but instead you told
And now everyone knows and looks at me like I’m a tridecagon, cursed with thirteen sides.

(Used by permission of Jesi Kim)