Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creative Writing Prompts Inspired by Valzhyna Mort

I think the poet Valzhyna Mort from Belarus  (the former Soviet Union) is pretty incredible.  I would like to "share" this video of her poem "New York" which gives an awesome perspective of the city.  I think the last two lines of the poem are incredible, and here is the text if you would like to read it.   Notice how she plays with the theme of a magician throughout the poem. 

 For today's writing prompts, we have two choices. 

Choice 1:  Review the video two or three times and write a reaction to the video.  You can do this in a casual style, writing what you like or don't like about it.  Did any line or illustration particularly strike you?  Why or why not?  You can also do this in a review-like format with a more formal voice.  Writing about other writing (and visual art in this case) is good writing practice, and you tend to become a little more aware of things when you critique other work in detail.

Choice 2:  Pick a city or small town and write a description about it going for 5 minutes without stopping.  You can then make this into a story, or you can do this via a poem with 25 lines or less.  Try mimicking Mort's style, but with your own words.  For example, Mort plays with a magician theme, so is a theme you can use to write about your place?

Let me know what you think of the video.  I really appreciate the comments you have been leaving.

Happy Writing!

If you haven't read much by this poet, I highly recommend her.


  1. Always interesting to see a place through anothers eyes..."glass rivers flowing upward"...beautiful.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Delores. I loved the rabbit image at the end--thinking of the skyscrapers as rabbit ears was pretty cool. Mort has a poem up today on Poetry Daily today -- --that you might be interested in.

  3. I finally got around to using this prompt. Now, reviewing this video I feel sadly lacking. Still, the contrast is interesting between her view of New York and my view of Guelph.


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