Pick up a Pen: Spring into Poetry Contest Poetry Prompt

A photograph with pink cherry blossoms in focus with blurred greenery in the background.

Writing poetry for some doesn't come as natural as it does for others. So, each week for the duration of our first-ever Spring into Poetry Contest, we will be posting a helpful prompt to inspire your own writing. If anything, think of these prompts as exercises that focus on the process of writing, rather than the final product. It may be that a poem comes into being after such an exercise, but it's also completely OK if it doesn't. The act of exercising builds up those poetry writing and thinking muscles that will make the creation process that much smoother.

This Week's Prompt

This week's prompt is taken from the official site for National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. We're starting off pretty heady, so take your time:

In the world of well-known poems, maybe there’s no gem quite so hoary as Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice.

So. Take a breath. Pick up your pen. And start writing.

Then, Enter Our Poetry Contest!

SJPL's inaugural Spring into Poetry Contest is happening now through April 25, 2021. Our contest is open to folks anywhere of all ages. Our submission guidelines will explain what will be considered, how to submit, and prize structure. We are taking submissions virtually - submit here!

Need More Inspiration?

We are hosting a variety of poetry-related programs, events, and workshops throughout the month of April:

Virtual Poetry Workshop with the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao

Tuesday, April 6, 2021
5:00PM – 6:00PM
Register Now

Celebrate National Poetry Month 2021 by attending a free poetry writing workshop.  This program is for all ages and is hosted by this year's Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Sapigao.  Parents are encouraged to be with any child younger than 8 years old. Sponsored by the Friends of Cambrian Branch Library.

Third Thursdays with Poetry Center San Jose

Thursday, April 15, 2021
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Register Now

Third Thursdays is a monthly Poetry program in partnership with Poetry Center San José. Poetry Center San José's mission is to nurture and promote diverse literary expression in our community as a means of exploring, defining, and enriching the human experience.

Virtual Poetry Readings With Santa Clara County Youth Poets

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Register Now

Join us for a night of poetry readings by Santa Clara County Youth poets. This program will be led by Janice Sapigao, the 2020/21 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. Sponsored by the Friends of Almaden Branch Library.

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