Pick Up a Pen: Spring into Poetry Contest Poetry Prompt, Week 2

Blossoming cherry tree limbs in front of the blurred greenery of a park beyond.

Writing poetry for some doesn't come as natural as it does for others. So, 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.

A modified page of a book: selected words and phrases are highlighted to create a poem from the words on the page to read: "He felt comfortable as he floated to the sudden tide of the room".

This Week's Prompt

This week's prompt comes from one of our own, who encouraged folks to take a stab at blackout poetry. Blackout poetry turns an already typed piece of text, usually a published work like a page from a book, newspaper, or magazine, into a completely new piece of art. For this prompt, you'll need a black, or other dark color, marker and a page from a book, newspaper, or magazine. Obviously, you'll want to pick something you wouldn't mind irreversibly altering; otherwise, copy or scan the page to keep the original unharmed.

You'll want to pick something that has plenty of words to choose from, but not too many to be overwhelming. You can take two approaches: select words and phrases that reflect the original work or story, or look at each word or select phrases individually and out of context to create something detached from the original. Let your gaze soften on the text and look for those words and phrases as they come together. Using your marker, black out everything else to reveal your new poem.

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?

Our last of our poetry-related programs, events, and workshops is next week:

Virtual Poetry Readings With Santa Clara County Youth Poets

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

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.