The Prose Poem—Prompt Inspired by Danielle Mitchell

What is a poem—the answers given often contradict the prose poem. What is a poem without stanzas echoes what is a poem without meter and rhyme. Perhaps what I appreciate most about the prose poem is that it requires a poet to think about what defines his/her/their own poetry and consciously choose those elements in this hybrid form.

For the first prompt, write a prose poem using imagery and themes from the tale of the minotaur in the labyrinth from Greek mythology. Here is a link to the myth if you need a refresher. Notice imagery/repetition the poet uses: “labyrinth,” “spiraling steps,” “thread,” “string,” “maze,” and “stairwell.” Who or what else could be a labyrinth? Are you the minotaur or Theseus?


For the second prompt, use the italicized line “If you get lost, just go deeper in” as a ghostline. Where do you go? Or your narrator? Are they one and the same? Or do you choose to keep the second person? After you have written your first draft, consider switching (from second person to first or third to second, for example). What changes?

For the third prompt, consider the differences between this poem and the poet’s other two poems published in the same issue of Connotation Press. How do these three prose poems differ? What themes/images does the form lend itself to? Write a poem using ten words compiled from two or all three of the poems.

For a fourth prompt, write a poem mapping the three landscapes described in the poems: forest and maze, muddy field and pond, and swamp.

And as always be sure to credit the poet for the inspiration, be careful to maintain your own voice in any poems you plan to submit and of course buy the book (check out her site)!