Spoken word, poetry, prose, and creative writing are all ways to express yourself and what you’re experiencing. Writing down and performing your thoughts can serve to transform the intangibility of your emotions and experiences into something more. They serve as a way for you to make your feelings tangible and real.
Andrea Gibson, a well-known poet, says “[Writing is] the one place where the world makes more sense to me. It’s where I feel the most turmoil, but also the most peace. It’s the one place I look my life straight in the eye.”
Spoken word and poetry are powerful mediums for artistic expression. They allow you to add tone and color to your words. You don’t need to be an artist or a performer. You don’t need to blow an audience away or make people cry. You don’t even need to show your work to the light of day. But the act of writing, of speaking, can be transformative.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, slam poet Kevin Kantor said “For a very long time afterwards it was something that I would write about but not share – it was my coping mechanism – and eventually I realized that I was able to lend a voice to it and share my story in a way that I didn’t know how to otherwise.”
If you are interested in giving creative writing a try, but have no idea how, don’t worry. No one does at first. Listed below are some prompts and poems that can help inspire you. Please be aware that these poems contain sometimes graphic or triggering language about sexual assault.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and free write. This means just writing down anything and everything you’re thinking. Writing stream-of-consciousness can help get those creative juices flowing.
- Write a poem about what you wish you knew when you were younger.
- Write a poem in which you use wind as a metaphor.
- Write a poem about a magic mirror.
- Write down a word in the center of a page. Draw a circle around it. Make a “word web” of words related in any way. Maybe it rhymes. Maybe it’s related by subject. Maybe it’s a synonym. Maybe it’s related to a personal memory. Make connections as quickly as you can. Then let these words inspire a poem! Put them together in interesting ways.
Andrea Gibson’s “Blue Blanket”
Kevin Kantor “People You May Know”
Akeemjamal Rollins’ “In Response”
Los Angeles Team “Rape Joke”
Nicola Maye Goldberg’s “Wisconsin”
Desiree Dallagiacomo and FreeQuency’s “American Rape Culture”
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