Tongues Have Spun and Undone Empires

Spitshine Poetry is an official University of Texas poetry organization. We have meetings every Thursday in Parlin 208 at 7 pm. We are building a community of writers, poets and free-thinking people. We got a big mouth, full of words, and a bigger heart, full of love. We hope that is all okay.

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18/30 Writing Prompt: Self Portrait

Make a list of each of the following things:

  • 3 smells you enjoyed as a child
  • 3 of your favorite clothing items & their significance
  • 3 experiences that shaped you as a person
  • 3 of your favorite colors & sounds
  • A word association list beginning with the word “animal”


Now, write a poem in which you describe what your own self-portrait looks like. Include items from the list above & place them somewhere on your body. (Ex: and there, just below the cheekbone, rests the first person i loved, an unforgiving mound of earth.)

What are you wearing in your self-portrait? Why that particular item of clothing? Think about your experiences with love, loss, laughter, and desires. Perhaps include the names of your favorite books or authors, your skills/talents, your dreams for the future, and/or stories you were told as a child. The possibilities are endless. Try to answer the question, What has shaped you? Illuminate that photo.

17/30 Writing Prompt

Write a poem that begins with the first line, “In the beginning…”. Use as many of the following words as possible: gold, transparent, fizz, shape, free, gush, static, bright, clean, rough, precious.

16/30 Writing Prompt: List Poem

Write a poem in which you list all the things you have ever lost in a certain place (ex: your room, house, school, job, your heart, etc.) or while performing a certain activity (ex: any method of transportation, loving someone, remembering yourself, etc.). End the poem by writing about one thing you have kept, in spite of it all.

14/30 Writing Prompt

Write a poem that begins with the phrase, “I lived in this house with you…”

13/30 Writing Prompt: Ode

Make a list of 5 things you enjoyed as a child. (Ex: grape juice, swingsets, saturday morning cartoons, libraries, my first cd collection.) Write an ode to one of the items on your list. If you’d like, include your current relationship to that particular item.

12/30 Writing Prompt: Narrative

Write a poem in which the following things are happening:

  • a song is playing
  • something is burning
  • you forget something
  • you realize something
  • the song ends
  • something begins

11/30 Writing Prompt: Homage

Write a poem in which you describe what you were doing the day Michael Jackson died, using the following images: glitter, fire, sunlight, monster.

10/30 Writing Prompt

Congrats on making it to day 10! Today’s prompt:

Use the following list of words in a poem about disappointment: