Collection Overview
Teaching Writing #writeout place-based poetry

Poetry-powered Prompts for Writing Outside

Write Out

10 Posts in this Collection

My hobbie (one of them anyway)…is using a lot of scotch tape… My hobbie is to pick out different things during what I read and piece them together and make a little story of my own.”

—Louis Armstrong

From spoken word to blackout poetry, to small verse and everything in-between, this collection brings together a range of poetry-powered “sparks,” or writing prompts, to encourage writing outside and in public spaces in your community. With a focus on poetry, each resource includes 1-3 prompts along with linked resources meant to support an exploration of a range of poetic forms and approaches.

These prompts have been created and curated for writers – young as well as the young at heart – by Park Rangers of the National Park Service and educators from the National Writing Project. They are intended to engage interests and support writers in getting started; as educator Peter Elbow writes, “the most effective way … to improve your writing is to do free writing exercises regularly.”

Check out the resources and then head outside and find a comfortable place to be (a “sit spot”) … this might be in your backyard, on your front stoop, or in a local park or other public space. Use a notebook or a journal, a microphone and a camera, go digital or stay analog … experiment with approaches that work best for you!

Interested in sharing what you wrote? Here are a few ideas how do this whether you are outside together, at a distance from each other, and/or sharing multimodal compositions.


Resources curated by KHCantrill for Write Out.

Photograph of students at Springfield Armory, used with permission from the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.


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