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Midnight And You're Awake

In her poem "Nocturne," Susan Rich writes, "I take my place in the insomniac's village." Write a poem about a time you were awake in the middle of the night—what you discovered about the world when everyone was sleeping or what you learned about yourself. If you can't remember a specific incident, make one up. You might imagine being awake at 1 A.M. and hearing a raccoon on your porch, or pretend you're looking out your window into the apartment across the way and see two people in the throes. What's going on when others are asleep? Write a poem that will captivate the reader with what he or she is missing while deep in slumber.

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Carrying A Torch

Write a poem that is really a love letter to an old flame. To ensure it doesn't turn sappy, use one or more of these words: dung beetle, politician, nuclear, pompadour, toilet.

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The Bright Side

Recall the nicest thing ever said to you. Compose a poem about a rainy day and something flooding. End the poem with the compliment.

Photo: Two Sylvias Press

The Poet Tarot And Guidebook: A Deck of Creative Exploration

This inventive take on the ancient practice of Tarot doubles as a crib sheet on 30 well-loved poets. For example, draw the Emily Dickinson card, and be invited to a period of creative soul-searching.

Poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy are the Two Sylvias, named for Sylvia Plath and Sylvia Beach.