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  • Christine Delea

Master of Disaster: Poetry Prompt

Disasters happen daily, but unless they are especially horrific, international, or deadly, we might not hear about them. In our online world, we can certainly find out about disasters that happen on "smaller scales" elsewhere in the world, or past disasters that may be largely forgotten these days.


Choose a disaster from the list below (or use as inspiration one you know about) and write a poem about it. There are many choices as far as perspective--someone who survived but was a victim, a first responder, a victim's loved one, a historian examining the results/effects, etc.


1859 Carrington Event, worldwide

1874 Locust Plague, Great Plains states

1901 Jim the Horse Tetanus Scandal, Saint Louis

1904 Eden Train Wreck, Colorado

1908 Tunguska River Explosion, Siberia

1917 The Narrows Explosion, Canada

1919 Molasses Flood, Boston

1940 Tacoma Tarrows Bridge Collapse, Washington

1942 Cocoanut Grove Fire, Boston

1944 Hartford Circus Fire, Connecticut

1947 Port of Texas City Explosions, Texas

1948 Donora Death Fog, Pennsylvania

1952 Great Smog, London

1958 Our Lady of the Angels School Fire, Chicago

1960 Air Collision, New York City

1961 Argon Low Power Reactor meltdown, Idaho Falls

1962 Centralia Mine Fire, Pennsylvania

1963 Vajont Dam Landslide, Italy

1967 Silver Bridge Collapse, West Virginia/Ohio

1969 Cuyahoga River Fire, Ohio

1971 Mass Grain Poisoning, Iraq

1973 Athens Hellinikon Airport Terrorist Attack, Greece

1978 Love Canal Toxic Dump Scandal, New York

1979 Easter Flood, Mississippi

1985 Antifreeze Wine Scandal, Austria

1986 Lake Nyos Carbon Dioxide Disaster, Cameroon

1990 I75 Fog Disaster, Tennessee

1991 Salem Express Sinking, Egypt

1997 Red River Flood, North Dakota

2008 Sugar Plant Explosion, Georgia

2013 Goat Cheese Fire, Norway

2015 Mina Stampede, Saudi Arabia




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