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In celebration of National Poetry Month, Inklings mentor, Celina McManus, visited the Drafting Workshop and offered our writers a fantastic poetry workshop.

We had so much fun, we wanted to share a few tips from the session that you can try out as you experiment with poetry this month.

Rhythm as Inspiration

First, Celina invited us to think about how rhythm shows up in our lives–in seasons, in the rising and setting of the sun each day, and even in our own heartbeats. Rhythm is also at the heart of many poems. We read The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe as an example, which is not only a beautifully rhythmic poem, echoing the way bells strike again and again, but also an excellent example of repetition in poetry.

The focus of the workshop was on how to play with words, and especially repeated words, to create poems that also allowed us to express our own thoughts and ideas. One fun activity we tried–and you can try it too–is this:

A Tasty Poem

  1. Pick a fruit or veggie.
  2. Create a poem that uses that fruit or veggie to show something about your feelings or perspective today.
  3. Repeat the name of your fruit or veggie in an exaggerated way throughout your poem. Can you use your word in each of the poem’s lines?

What We Learned:

We were surprised to find that writing about something that could feel silly or unexpected, like a lemon or a radish, could actually show something meaningful about ourselves. The poems our writers shared made us laugh and also made us think. After our fruit and veggie poems, we experimented with a poetic form, the Pantoum. We found that playing within the structure of this poetic form made it possible to be surprisingly creative.

Want to Write With Us?

In the Drafting Workshop, we have the opportunity to try out new writing experiences, like this one, all the time. If you’re a youth writer looking for a creative community and for opportunities to reach for dreams like entering writing contests or finishing a big project, the Drafting Workshop may be just the place for you.

You can join our community (plus gain access to a library of past author interviews and fabulous workshop replays, including our Poetry Workshop) for just $25 a month. We’d love to cheer you on, celebrate your wins with you, and support you when you’re feeling stuck. And we know we’ll learn so much from your perspective and imaginative ideas, too! We can’t wait for you to dive in and take part.

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