A Prompt From My Past


I took my old copy of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States into school a couple of weeks ago and the above document popped out. It was from high school and one of my amazing writing/reading/thinking/creating/living out loud English classes. It reads:

WRITING          WRITING           WRITING           WRITING             RESEARCH           DREAMING            WALKING

Study (research) a planet.  Keep a file.

Anthropomorphosize an object.

Propose questions for the night’s dreaming. Write them out in dream notebook.

Record all words seen or spoken & etc. in a dream.

Take a walk, notice everything blue & make a list.

Poem: different pronoun in every line.

Write off all the postcards you receive in one month.

Write a bestiary.

Write a calendar.

Writing with no commas or question marks (Read Stein’s POETRY & GRAMMAR)

Make a poem in shape of ziggurat, a cloud & etc.

Abandon margins.

Prose: Monologues. Ordinary & then elevated speech dialogues.


Talismanic object(with a group). Everyone bring in object with a story, describe, take notes, write.

Write in a moving vehicle or craft.

Write in coloured inks.

Sketch one on one with person next to you, then do an “interview” with partner.

Do ethnic study of who you are.

Experiment with other languages.

A piece of writing that’s all questions.

Poem of the vowels (see Rimbaud)

Chants, lists. Start with 100 memories.

Mistranslate texts of Arabic, Sanskrit, Russian.

Write in beast language.

I think this was a list of writing prompts from my senior year of high school. The ‘x’  would have represented prompts I was interested in while the ‘√’ were those I actually did. Funny; a number of these prompts are still speaking to me, today.

And I thought I might run out of writing ideas this month…

2 thoughts on “A Prompt From My Past

  1. I enjoyed the list….and would have more so if I did not feel so ignorant of some of the vocabulary–like what the hell is a ziggurat??


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