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A Person, Place, or Thing: Poetry Prompt

In "When My Gender is First Named Disorder," torrin a. greathouse has created a poem filled with poetry-perfect nouns. They are specific, vivid, and plentiful--they are a huge part of what makes this poem so powerful.

For your prompt this week, take a few minutes and look around you. Write down ten nouns--things you see and/or things that looking around make you think of.

Now take 3-5 of the nouns from greathouse's poem and add those to your list.

For the last part of the prompt, choose one of the question below. Use it to start or end in poem. Be sure to give credit (after your title, put in italics, with a question from ________ by _________).

Bonus challenge: use a few nouns as verbs or adjectives.


Who saved this one, and why?--Chase Twichell, "Dark Slides"

What did I say?--Langston Hughes, "Dream Boogie"

Where do you live? What’s under your roof?--Pimone Triplett, "Supply Chain"

What could be done?--Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Life of Lincoln West"

How long has your door been closed?--Terrance Hayes, "The Blue Terrance"

What the hell is that man doing here?--Martín Espada, "Here I Am"

Why the extraneous plant?--Elizabeth Bishop, "Filling Station"

Are you happy?--Dorothy Chan, "So Chinese Girl

Will we walk all night through solitary streets?--Allen Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in


Speak of Soul?--Trevino Brings Plenty, "Unpack Poetic"

Why am I not allowed delight?--Ada Limón, "Give Me This"

Who clutches the ball—or was it bomb?--Judith H. Montgomery, "B-Word"

Were there lakes like this one with a rowboat pushed under the pier?--Rita Dove,

"Wingfoot Lake"

How will I hide?--May Swenson, "Question"

And whom do I call my enemy?--Joy Harjo, "This Morning I Pray For My Enemies"

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